Hannah Stevens, Executive Director

Hannah joined WSCC most recently from High Country News where she served as the Donor Stewardship Manager, and previously worked in botanical science for thirteen years leading the New York Botanical Garden’s Conservation GIS program, as well as consulted for national and international organizations such as the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Center for International Forestry Research in Indonesia. Hannah has long admired and appreciated the mission of WSCC, and served as the organization’s Watershed Stewardship Committee chairperson, River Fest Coordinator, and project consultant. Hannah’s roots in the North Fork Valley were planted over 30 years ago when her family moved here and started an organic garlic farm, and it was here that her love and appreciation of agriculture, the outdoors, and science grew strong. Hannah holds a B.A. in Biology from Colorado College and an M.A. in Conservation Biology from Columbia University. After many years in NYC, she is happy to call the mountains of Colorado home again. She and her daughter enjoy tending their small farm (including a flock of chickens, two bunnies, and an extra sweet cat), being in nature, traveling and all things art.

You can reach out to Hannah here.

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Jake Hartter, Stewardship Director

Jake has been an integral part of WSCC since he moved to the North Fork valley in 2015. Jake has a long history and passion for all things rivers, wetlands, and watersheds and was the director of WSCCs watershed stewardship program from 2016-2023. During that time Jake oversaw the completion of the River Park master plan, managed the River Watch water sampling program, spearheaded WSCC’s river advocacy campaigns, engaged local stakeholders in long-range river planning, and implemented many habitat restoration projects within the North Fork and lower Gunnison river watersheds. Jake started his own ecosystem consulting and habitat restoration business in 2023, but will be working part time this winter and spring to continue WSCC’s vision for watershed stewardship through new partnerships and programming.   

Contact Jake at [email protected].

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Lauren Swartz, Community Outreach and Stewardship VISTA

Lauren joined the Western Slope Conservation Center in August 2023 as the Conservation Legacy AmeriCorps VISTA. She grew up on the northwest side of Ohio. She is a recent college graduate from Bowling Green State University with a degree in Environmental Science with a specialization in Education and Interpretation. During her college years, she worked with Nature’s Nursery, a native wildlife rehabilitation clinic in her hometown. Lauren mainly tended to wildlife patients that needed medical attention, worked alongside volunteers, and other behind the scenes tasks. In the final year of her degree, Lauren also enjoyed serving as the Treasurer for BGSU’s Outdoor Adventure Club. In her free time, Lauren enjoys reading, finding new kombucha to try, exploring new hiking trails, and taking her SUP out! She is excited to start out her post-college life with a bang through the WSCC!

Contact Lauren here!

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Heidi Hudek, Bookkeeper

Heidi Hudek is an entrepreneur, a creative, and a mother. She owns her own business as a Bookkeeper, and is a professional musician and photographer. Heidi is a community advocate and connoisseur of locally grown foods. Heidi has been a Bookkeeper for various organizations for 4 years, including retail, restaurant, and design businesses, and she specializes in non-profits. She has been Treasurer, Secretary, and Executive Director of three nonprofits, and has been a Bookkeeper for six nonprofits. While raising her son as a single mom, Heidi has lived in Delta County since 2005. She sees the North Fork Valley as an inspirational place, worthy of celebration. She enjoys cooking at home with locally grown foods and values the land and water we enjoy here. Heidi works to build community connections and collaboration, and to provide arts education for kids.


Elizabeth Stevens-Klein, Membership and Grant Coordinator

Elizabeth has an extensive background in environmental science, GIS, and project and team management having worked for both the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Geological Survey as a GIS Specialist, the National Watershed Boundary Dataset Product Owner, and more recently as a Scrum Master of the National Water Information System. Elizabeth grew up in Paonia on an organic garlic farm fostering her passions for wildlife, stargazing, healthy soils and waters, and sustainable agriculture. Farm life taught her that humans survive and thrive when all life systems survive and thrive and is so grateful to have the opportunity to contribute towards the WSCC’s mission. She is currently based in Conifer with her partner, son, and their flock of chickens with the hopes of someday returning to Paonia. In her free time, Elizabeth loves hiking, metalsmithing fine silver jewelry, selling wholesale art products nationwide, and reading anything relating to the interconnectedness of humans, the lands and wildlife that sustain us, and the universe as a whole.

Contact Elizabeth at [email protected]