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Who We Are

Hermit's Peak Watershed Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization made up of residents in the Gallinas, Sapello, and Tecolote watersheds.  We have recently become a membership organization -- to become a member please visit our Membership page.  Our organization is governed by a Board of Directors.  We also work with numerous other public and private organizations and individuals with an interest in our watersheds.

2015 Board of Directors

President: Ben Gillock – United World College

Treasurer: Deanna Einspahr

Aaron Juarros - sculptor/fly fisher

Kerry Loewen - New Mexico Highlands University Media Arts

Dr. Edward Martinez – New Mexico Highlands University Natural Resources

Dr. Brian Miller- conservation ecologist


Lea Knutson, Founder, Executive Director

As a native of New Mexico (born and raised in the north valley of Albuquerque) and a 20 year resident and owner of property that spans both the Gallinas and Sapello watersheds, Lea has roots in the local area.  With training in Wildlife Science (B.S. University of Washington) and 18 years of professional experience in wildlife ecology and wildlife habitat management, she has a deep love of the land and commitment to providing healthy landscapes for people and wildlife.  Lea also has experience in private business; she is part owner and operator of a 20 year old, family owned construction company.  Working with her husband and son, she does the bookkeeping and office management. To contact Lea email





 Katie Withnall, Technical Coordinator

Katie was born and raised in Northern New Mexico. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Humboldt State University (2004) and a Master’s of Science from King’s College London in Environment and Development (2009). She has professional experience with GIS and remote sensing applications. Katie enjoys traveling, reading and arrowhead hunting. If you would like to contact Katie please email








Lorraine Garcia, Education/Outreach Coordinator (OSM/VISTA)

Lorraine Garcia is the newest addition to the HPWA staff. She is the third and final AmeriCorps OSM-VISTA assigned to HPWA by the Western Hardrock Watershed Team. A native New Mexican Lorraine was raised in Albuquerque, but has lived in Las Vegas, New Mexico several years receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Geology and currently finishing her Master’s Degree in Natural Resource Management at New Mexico Highlands University. While working with HPWA Lorraine will be focusing on Outreach and Education. Over the course of her yearlong service term, she hopes to be able to make an impact on the youth of the community in the way of environmental education and conveying to them the importance of our watersheds.

 If you would like to contact Lorraine to learn about opportunities with AmeriCorps, or with ideas on Education or Outreach for HPWA, please email at