Tribute to a public-lands servant

30 09 2022

Connie Clementson, manager of Tres Rios Field Office in Dolores, is retiring after 37 years of public-lands service. For the last 11 years, she has been the head of BLM public lands in Southwest Colorado. We first met her at the 2011 Spring Creek Basin roundup when she was still with the Forest Service and served here as the then-acting district ranger for the Dolores District of San Juan National Forest. We’re glad she was able to finish her three-plus decades of service here in our corner of Colorado.

Our herd manager, Mike Jensen, gets a lot of the well-deserved credit for our recent management accomplishments in Spring Creek Basin, and we know that’s because he has had the support of the top boss – Connie – and her confidence that he was making best decisions for our herd.

Monday, Tif Rodriguez, long-time advocate for Spring Creek Basin mustangs as well as for protecting rights and rights-of-way for horsemen and horse (and other pack stock such as mules) use on public lands, and I went to Tres Rios Field Office, where Joe Manning, assistant field office manager (who also has a lot to do with our confidence-inspiring herd management), had scheduled us into a rare gap in Connie’s last-week schedule. Daniel Chavez, range tech who works with Mike (and Garth Nelson), joined us in Mike’s absence (he was returning from a trip with his daughter).

We presented Connie with a photo of Spring Creek Basin mustangs and a letter from our Disappointment Valley Mustangs group (which includes Pat and Frank Amthor, David and Nancy Holmes, and Kathryn Wilder, in addition to me and Tif) in appreciation for her years of service – specifically here and especially for our mustangs. While we chatted, she reminded us that she said 11 years ago at the roundup that she didn’t ever want to do that again in Spring Creek Basin. And because of her 100 percent support of the PZP fertility-control program in the basin, we haven’t.

In the photo above, from right to left: Joe Manning, Connie Clementson, yours truly, Tif Rodriguez and Daniel Chavez.

We’re so grateful for Connie’s leadership and partnership these many years, and we wish all the best to Connie (and her family) during her well-earned retirement!



8 responses

30 09 2022

Congratulations for working years to keep the mustangs free in such a beautiful place in the west. Frank and I had so many great adventures . Thanks to all!

1 10 2022

We’ve seen many changes, haven’t we? Amazing! Thank you and Frank for your LONG-time support of these beautiful mustangs!

30 09 2022

Congratulations on 30 years! And for being a big part of keeping the Spring Creek Basin herd the way they should be. Wish there were many more people like this group at this HMA – the horses would be so much better off and SAFE!

1 10 2022

We’re blessed.

30 09 2022
Sue E. Story

We are truly grateful for Connie’s exceptional leadership and regard for mustangs. She will be incredibly missed. I am grateful for all of you, TJ – everyone mentioned in your narrative – the royalty of Spring Creek Basin HMA! We who love wild horses are so fortunate to have a team like you guys to help our mustangs survive and flourish in their place. And that all starts with people at the top who use their power wisely. Well done Connie and every one of you! 💖

1 10 2022

She leaves a legacy of good management, that’s for sure! We’re so grateful. 🙂

30 09 2022
Karen Schmiede

Hope she has a happy retirement! So grateful for people who work to protect the horses!

1 10 2022

Perfectly said, Karen. Thanks!

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