Announcement from Executive Director Curt Soper

Submitted on Tue, 03/08/2022 - 09:47

Dear Friends of the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust,

I have some news to share with you today! After 42 years in the field of land and water conservation, and 6 years as your Executive Director, I am ready to retire. I have shared the news with our Staff and Board of Directors and the Board has begun to prepare for the search for my successor. I have committed to the Board that I will stay until the new executive director is hired and for a reasonable period of time to ensure a smooth transition.

  In the past several years, we have seen the Land Trust expand and build on its successful conservation footprint and impact significantly:

  • Opening miles of new trails and recreation areas for public use,
  • Protecting the best remaining shrub-steppe habitats and working ranch lands in Douglas County,
  • Conserving connected landscapes in Chelan County,
  • Delivering outstanding stewardship to the lands we manage,
  • Becoming a financially stronger and more stable organization.

As embodied in our new 5-year Strategic Plan, the Land Trust is embarking on some of its most exciting and transformative conservation efforts ever. We continue to grow, and we are poised to have new leadership take the organization through its next chapter of land conservation, stewardship, and outdoor recreation accomplishments.

We are a strong and mature land trust with 16 employees and a top-notch 15-person Board of Directors that has now conserved more than 27,000 acres of the region’s most important places. Our standing in the community as a trusted, solid organization that delivers on its conservation mission has never been stronger. We have the support of key partners that will continue to be beneficial as we achieve our mission well into the future.

Our staff is a great mix of seasoned, experienced conservation leaders and a younger generation with the expertise and energy to meet the rising opportunities and challenges ahead. And our Board is a well-connected and committed group of community leaders with deep roots here who give generously of their time and skills and contribute in a big way to our success. This, along with the ongoing support of our amazing members and volunteers, ensures that the Land Trust’s future is very bright!

I will assist the Board and Staff in finding the next Executive Director and I plan to have some overlap with our new leader to ensure a smooth transition. Until then, I will be fully present in my role of Executive Director as the organization completes the recruitment and hiring process.   

Land and water conservation is my passion and my life’s work, and I’ll continue to be involved in this meaningful work that makes our state and our community such a great place to live and raise a family.

I plan to continue the friendship and camaraderie that I have had with you over the last six years. Thank you so much for your support and partnership. My time here at the CDLT has been a source of great personal joy and pride and I’ll continue to hang my hat right here in our beautiful, bountiful region and enjoy the fruits of our collective labor.

 With gratitude and best regards,

Curt Soper

Curt Soper

Executive Director

A message Board President Bruce Williams:


Today marks an exciting and bittersweet moment. It’s exciting to think about all that has been accomplished at Chelan-Douglas Land Trust (CDLT) during the last several years. I’ve been a member of CDLT’s Board for almost nine years and our growth and the increase in our sphere of influence has been phenomenal during that time. Curt has been a large part of taking CDLT to the next level and his leadership and vision will be missed.

Yet, it’s exciting to think of what’s on the horizon for our next leader. Through the efforts of Curt and the CDLT professional staff he leads, CDLT is in great shape to do even more.

In particular, I think about how CDLT has positioned itself well to respond to climate change challenges our community faces. With the support of my fellow CDLT Board members, staff has been empowered to expand the reach of CDLT into Douglas County to ensure protection of critical shrub-steppe lands for sage grouse, while maintaining viable working ranchlands.

And, we’ve been a partner with private landowners in the Lake Wenatchee, Cashmere Canyon and Chelan Coulee areas. These unique land acquisitions were made possible through the keen negotiating skills and foresight of Curt and staff.

CDLT is well-positioned for what lies ahead. We as a Board are looking forward to what the future holds. And, we will be diligent and deliberate in our search for the next leader of CDLT. The Board has set up a search committee including both board and staff and we are supported by a top national search firm. We will be launching our national recruitment effort in mid-March and will be sure to share the job announcement with you then. In the meantime, we welcome your thoughts, questions, and any candidate recommendations for the next leader of our treasured Land Trust. Please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]

With best wishes and appreciation,

Bruce Williams, CDLT Board President