Holly Snow Canada takes the reigns as CSU’s Executive Director

Holly Snow Canada, her husband Spenser, and her dog Smokey (named after Smokey the Bear) often walk, run and bike the trails outside her house in Santa Clara, taking stock of how the seasons create change along the familiar paths.

Holly has even started a desert diary—writing down the day of the first prickly pear blooms and noting how hummingbirds return to the same nest on their clothesline every year.

Given this rather analytically-minded hobby, it may come as no surprise that Holly’s background is in engineering. She worked as a water resource engineer for many years in Sacramento, California. Holly took any opportunity to get out in nature—including a three-week backpacking trek along the John Muir Trail.

Five years ago, she and Spenser moved to Washington County for a year sabbatical and quickly decided they were here to stay.

Holly is grateful to have beautiful desert views and fascinating plants and animals right outside her door. And she’s passionate about giving back to the land—volunteering as a trail and wilderness steward and joining with CSU to voice her opposition to endangering proposals like the Northern Corridor Highway and the Lake Powell Pipeline.

As the new Executive Director for Conserve Southwest Utah, Holly is thrilled to be able to dedicate more of her time to the mission of protecting our protected lands and valued resources.

“I think the open space and public lands are some of the best things about this area. And I love that CSU is speaking up for those places and is trying to protect them for generations to come. I feel honored to be able to have a larger role in that now.”

Holly’s position was newly built for CSU and made possible through the generous support of our donors. Any movement needs an identified, committed leader, and though CSU has enjoyed an incredible ensemble of leadership over the years, we are very excited to have a dedicated, central figure to nourish our growth as an organization, maximize our efficiency and provide a central voice and vision.

“There are so many talented, passionate people involved with Conserve Southwest Utah and my aim will be to help everyone—our staff, our board members, our volunteers—to work towards our very important mission.”

That mission is (simply put) to conserve our area’s natural and cultural resources and advocate for Smart Growth policies. Holly notes that as the population grows in our area, we will have to work together to protect our local resources.

One of the most pressing concerns here, of course, is our water crisis. Holly’s background in water resource management gives her a uniquely informed perspective on the issue. She thinks our community will need to spend the next couple of decades tackling water management, but that water conservation is a good starting point.

“I think it’ll be important to have policy-level and individual-level action.”

An important step to mobilizing individuals to take action is expanding public knowledge of the issues within our greater community.

“I would love to spread the word about Conserve Southwest Utah and the important work that we do to conserve our resources. As more people learn about our local issues, proposed projects, and alternative options, the more people can make their own informed decisions.”

With Holly at the helm, we are certain we will achieve this and more… More protections for our existing public lands. More people speaking out publicly who are passionate about protecting those places. More smart growth policies implemented within our community.

“I would love to grow in a smart way that enables conservation of our resources for our benefit and for future generations.”