MCD – Board of Directors & Staff

Board of Supervisors

MCD Board

MCD Board, Winter 2015

The Mancos Conservation District is served by a volunteer board of supervisors. These folks devote their time and energy to helping landowners resolve issues associated with increasing population and meeting increasing demands on all natural resources in our watershed. They provide educational, financial and technical assistance to local landowners to improve agricultural and livestock sustainability. They are working with the Colorado River Salinity Control Forum in cooperation with the NRCS to install pipelines and irrigation systems that replace dirt ditches. This will reduce soil erosion and saline sediment transport. The board of supervisors also conducts and sponsors workshops in integrated weed management, water irrigation seminars and rangeland management. The board is currently working on a project to replace old, dysfunctional water diversions along the Mancos River. Several projects have been completed to improve fish and aquatic health on the river.



President – Robert Becker

Being a military brat, Bob grew up in, Ca., Az., Ky., and England. He lived in Durango, Co. from 1961 to 1965 and then Tucson, Az. from 65-82, but Colorado called again and another move to Ignacio was made. He has worked as a cook, managed a concrete block manufacturing plant, and owned an excavating & trenching company. In 1983, he was hired to manage the Pine River Irrigation District and serve as dam tender at Vallecito Reservoir. In 1988 he moved to Mancos where he was employed as a water commissioner with the Colorado Division of Water Resources until his retirement in July of 2008. Bob has worked with the MCD Board and attended meetings since 2002 and has served on the Board since 2009. He is currently serving as president.


Vice President – Jack Burk



Secretary/Treasurer – Ben Wolcott

Ben grew up in Mancos on his family’s cattle ranch. After travelling to many places around the world, he decided that if he was from almost anywhere else, Mancos would be one of his first choices on where to live. After attending Fort Lewis College and studying Biology and Sustainable Agriculture he and his wife returned to the family ranch to manage the business. Ben is passionate about land stewardship and water management. He is also a proud father and an avid outdoorsman.


Member – Mike Nolan



Member – Travis Custer

travis-custer-2-150-x-150Travis was born on the Eastern Slope of Colorado. He spent part of his childhood growing up in central North Carolina, but returned to Colorado in 1998 and has been here since. Travis went to college in Leadville where he studied outdoor education. After moving to the Southwest, and a short stint at Fort Lewis College studying Environmental Policy, he became actively involved in environmental and social justice based work. Travis has been involved in local agriculture about 8 years growing food, and raising animals. He has a passion for community organizing and developing resilient agricultural systems. Travis has experience practicing permaculture, seed saving, and soil health management here in the Southwest and Central America. He currently lives in Mancos, and is the proud father of a 4 year-old boy who loves to get dirty! Travis also works as an Agricultural Consultant for the Dolores Conservation District and looks forward to serving the community by spending his time working closely with farmers to strengthen soil health and water conservation practices, such as cover cropping and reduced tillage.



District Manager – Gretchen Rank

gretchen-rank-150-x-150Gretchen was born in South Carolina and spent her early childhood years in Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru. During those years she developed a love for people of diverse cultures and recognized the need for education worldwide. Gretchen moved to Summit Ridge with her family in 2004. She and her husband enjoy gardening and raising poultry on their land when they aren’t spending time in the outdoors birding and backpacking. Maintaining 35 acres of dry land hay has helped her appreciate water and soil conservation techniques and the importance of noxious weed control. She has been actively involved with educating her two children and teaching cooperative lessons in a variety of subjects in a classroom setting. She has twenty years of experience in bookkeeping and office management as partial owner of a successful business in Farmington, NM. She is also joint owner of a quilting studio in Mancos, CO and enjoys quilting in her spare time. She loves the diverse public lands available in southwest Colorado, the agricultural heritage and the people who live here, and is excited about her role for the Mancos Conservation District and The Montezuma School to Farm Project.


Natural Resource Technician – Patrick Clements

Mancos Conservation District Board and Staff - Patrick ClementsPatrick was born in Dexter, Missouri and raised in the small town of Bloomsdale near the Mississippi River, and in Giddings, Texas, near Austin. Patrick was exposed to agriculture at an early age by his grandparents, who were working farmers. After serving in The United States Marine Corps as a machine gunner, Patrick embarked on an 11 year career as a commercial diver. He worked in the offshore oilfields, dam construction and repair, and various bridges and piers nationwide. He retired in 2005 and attended Texas A&M-Corpus Christi earning a BS in Biology. Patrick lives in Dolores, Colorado with his wife Lisa, and both enjoy the outdoors and scenery of Southwestern Colorado. He is excited about his work with The Mancos Conservation District and looks forward to serving the soil and water conservation needs of the community and local farmers.


Basin Salinity Technician – Jeff Fowlds

jeff-fowlds-400-x-607Jeff grew up in rural Idaho where he spent plenty of time outdoors camping, hunting and fishing. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Boise State University.  He moved to Colorado in 2010.  In his spare time Jeff enjoys gardening, hiking, rafting and skiing with his wife and daughter.  He is passionate about land stewardship, sustainability and water issues.  He is glad to be in SW Colorado and hopes to one day have a farm and ranch of his own.