By Lisa Young

Staff writer

After spending four years as the executive director for the Western Slope Conservation Center, Patrick Dooling is taking a position with the Environmental Health Project, a nonprofit working to defend public health in the face of oil and gas development in Pennsylvania.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my resignation effective June 24. While I have cherished my nearly four years working to protect and enhance the Western Slope’s iconic landscapes and watersheds with the conservation center, my wife and I will be relocating to Pennsylvania to be closer to our family,” Dooling said recently.

Dooling’s accomplishments at the center located in Paonia include organizing the campaign in opposition to the proposed and final BLM Resource Management Plan; representing the North Fork community on a worldwide BBC World News segment featuring the area’s efforts to defend public lands from the Trump Administration’s energy-dominance agenda; increasing the center’s operating budget by 35% and securing over $525,000 in grants to support our programs; securing $150,000 in grant funding for the North Fork Community Access Project to improve physical and emotional community connections to the North Fork of the Gunnison River; starting Phase 2 of the Integrated Watershed Management Planning project to create a sustainable, long-term vision for the rivers and water users of the North Fork Valley Watershed; completing construction of the boat ramp at the Delta County Fairgrounds and developing a new two-year strategic plan to guide organizations vision, growth and organizational management.

Dooling will be replaced by Scott Braden, WSCC board member. Braden, who will serve as the interim director, has over 20 years of experience in public lands advocacy and outdoor education.

“Braden has worked at Conservation Colorado, the Colorado Mountain Club, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) and the Colorado Outward Bound School. His primary goal will be to keep the WSCC steady and strong through this transition and to support the staff and the members who make the important work of the Center possible,” Dooling said.

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