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Who We Are

The Colorado Wildlands Project wields policy, legal, political, organizing and communications expertise to protect and defend BLM wildlands on the Colorado Plateau.


Project Staff


Scott Braden

Scott brings over twenty years’ experience in public lands advocacy and education on the Colorado Plateau. He found his way west to work at the Colorado Outward Bound School, falling in love with desert rivers and wilderness in Dinosaur National Monument and Desolation Canyon. He transitioned his career into conservation advocacy working at the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) for five years before moving to Colorado and continuing as an advocate for public lands at the Colorado Mountain Club and Conservation Colorado. Scott lives with his family, dog Charley and a small flock of chickens in Grand Junction.

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Bella Harris
Wildlands Campaigner

Bella Harris joins the Colorado Wildlands Project as a Wyss Fellow. Bella has been practicing conservation social science & environmental outreach for about 5 years. She found her passion for conservation while studying Wildlife Biology at Colorado State University, where she earned an M.S. in Conservation Leadership. Bella has focused her career on environmental outreach and community engagement and has worked in communities across Colorado and believes everyone should have the opportunity to form a personal relationship with nature. Bella hails from Grand Junction and spent her childhood falling in love with the surrounding canyons and rivers. Outside of work, Bella loves to experiment in the kitchen, garden, and spending time with her 16-year-old border collie, Drake.

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Soren Jespersen
Field Director

Soren has spent his professional career working to improve management of America's public lands. Recently, he worked at The Wilderness Society, focusing on administrative and legislative campaigns to protect BLM wildlands. Before TWS he worked on river and watershed protection for Friends of the River in CA.  Soren serves on the Routt County Recreation Roundtable and was President of the Board for Friends of the Yampa. Soren spends hundreds of days each year out on public lands, exploring and documenting the conditions of our unprotected wild places.  Originally from Utah, Soren now lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with his wife and daughter.

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Keeley Meehan
Policy Director

Keeley is passionate about advocating for the protection of wild spaces and connecting people to make progress toward shared goals. As an attorney and policy expert, she seeks to leverage federal laws and policies to conserve wildlands across the Western Slope. She previously worked as an attorney at The Wilderness Society, focusing on the management of BLM land and national monuments. Keeley has also worked as a liaison for Native American Tribes and the Department of Energy on issues around nuclear waste and transportation. Outside of work, you can find her exploring the North Fork Valley, where she lives with her partner, daughter, and very concerned pup, Arby.

Project Counsel

Peter Hart

Peter Hart is Staff Attorney at Wilderness Workshop, and has led the organization’s legal and defensive work for over a decade. Peter’s docket includes oil and gas leasing and development, agency rule changes, timber projects, and recreation proposals impacting public lands. Peter earned a law degree and master’s degree in environmental law from the University of Denver and lives in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Neal Clark

Neal Clark is the Wildlands Program Director and House Counsel for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), where he oversees SUWA’s engagement in federal agency planning processes, site-specific project proposals, administrative appeals, legislative negotiations, and on-the-ground inventorying and monitoring of wilderness-quality lands. He is a graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School and lives in Moab, Utah.

Special Advisors

Juli Slivka

Juli co-founded the Colorado Wildlands Project with Scott Braden, and she plays a key role in the Wildlands Project’s conservation priorities and strategic development. Juli is the Policy Director at Wilderness Workshop, where she develops and implements programs for healthy forests and rivers, BLM wildlands, habitat conservation, responsible recreation, and wilderness stewardship. Prior to arriving at Wilderness Workshop, Juli spent 12 years working in The Wilderness Society’s BLM Action Center, where she gained extensive experience in public land law, policy and management, including a deep knowledge of plans and projects affecting western Colorado’s BLM lands. Juli lives in Carbondale, Colorado with her desert-loving pup Juniper.

Mike Freeman

Mike Freeman serves as a staff attorney with Earthjustice, where his work focuses on defending public lands on the Colorado Plateau and throughout the West.  Mike is co-chair of Earthjustice’s oil and gas practice group and his cases have involved protecting Colorado’s Roan Plateau and Thompson Divide from oil and gas leasing, as well as enforcing federal protections for the greater sage-grouse.  Mike also represents native American tribes and tribal organizations working to protect their lands, water, and sovereignty.  In addition, he was instrumental in the State of Colorado’s 2020 adoption of new oil and gas regulations to better protect communities and the environment.  Prior to joining Earthjustice in 2008, Mike was a partner with the Denver office of a large national law firm.  He lives in Denver, Colorado with his family.

Scott Groene

Scott Groene is the Executive Director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the wilderness at the heart of the Colorado Plateau with twenty-seven staff and offices in Salt Lake City, Moab and Washington D.C. He’s served as a lawyer representing those living below the poverty line in southeastern Utah, including the Navajo Nation; worked as Chief of Staff for former Utah Representative Wayne Owens in Washington, D.C.; and as the Director of the National BLM Wilderness Campaign. His work has included numerous legislative campaigns including the successful Cedar Mountains wilderness legislation in 2006, the Washington County wilderness legislation enacted in 2009, and the Emery County wilderness legislation enacted in 2019.  He lives in Moab Utah.

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