Fighting for the Future: Front Range Field Manager Renée Larrarte

Renée hiking above Telluride, Colorado.

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes of Conservation Colorado’s work, with the people who make our organization tick? 

To answer that question, we’re taking you behind the scenes this month, on our blog and social media, to meet some of the amazing team members whose day-to-day work is made possible by YOUR support.

All of their work is made possible by the commitment and leadership of our community of donors. We hope you’ll become (or continue to be!) part of this community by making a gift to our December campaign!

In this blog post, we’ll go behind the scenes to meet our Front Range Field Manager, Renée Larrarte!

What brought you to the Conservation Colorado team?

Before Conservation Colorado, I was working for the 2012 Obama re-election campaign. It was exciting and meaningful work, but at times felt a bit transactional. 

After we won the campaign, I wanted to do more on a state and local level, where I could see direct impacts on the community around me. Those of you who support our work hopefully relate to that feeling! I also wanted to give back to my home state where I was born and raised — Colorful Colorado.

Tell us more about what you do as the Front Range Field Manager. 

To be cheesy but honest, I feel so fortunate every morning. As Front Range Field Manager, I manage the best team of organizers who are working in communities up and down the Front Range, including Fort Collins/Greeley and the Denver metro area. I support my organizers to build deep relationships with Coloradans who are impacted by climate change and environmental issues. We elevate their voices — especially those who have been traditionally underrepresented in policymaking — to their decision-makers, through writing comments and making calls, testifying at public hearings, and speaking up for our cause. 

Ultimately, by organizing our fellow Coloradans to take action, we influence decision-makers to pass policy that not only saves our environment but also human lives. If you’re reading this, I hope you continue supporting our work to uplift these communities and make sure they are heard. Our wins are not for us — the wins are about them. 

Conservation Colorado’s tagline is “the future is worth the fight.” What do you fight for?

As an organizer, it’s the people who matter most to me, from the young mother impacted by oil and gas drilling near her home and fearing for its long-term health effects on the baby she is carrying, to the beautifully spirited mother who immigrated here from Latin America and is raising her children next to an oil refinery that is polluting their air and water. I learn from these people daily and they keep me going. As organizers, we help them navigate and influence policymaking, but they are the ones on the front lines of fighting to improve the environment by writing, testifying, and speaking up to their decision-makers. 

For example, this year we fought to improve the air quality in the Commerce City area, which was named the most polluted zip code in the nation in 2020. This area is a predominantly low-income Latinx community that suffers from high rates of respiratory conditions and cancers due to toxic environmental pollution. We won stricter regulations on corporate polluters, but our community’s fight continues. Lives are literally at stake and we will be there — with your support.

What do you want to say directly to our supporters?

I would say that what sets Conservation Colorado apart is that we are effective, and we are in this for the long haul. We are not leaving. We will continue to do transformational work in communities that focuses on their needs and uplifts them to fight for the future. We are here to ensure our fellow Coloradans hold their decision-makers accountable to put health and safety first, and protect the natural beauty of this place we are so lucky to call home. 

Conservation Colorado has the grit, determination, and resourcefulness to win for our communities and environment. I hope you’ll continue to fight with us and help make our work possible with your support. 

All of our work at Conservation Colorado is not possible without the support of champions like you. Please consider making a gift today by clicking here

Also, stay tuned for the rest of this series to take you behind the scenes with our staff, including another blog post next week, and video stories we’re sharing on Facebook.