California Rangeland Trust Announces Co-Chairs

Mark Nelson and Valerie Gordon to lead the board


(SACRAMENTO) – February 28th, 2020

Today, the California Rangeland Trust announced that current Board of Directors Chair Mark Nelson and Vice Chair Valerie Gordon have been appointed as co-chairs of the board for 2020. Together, Nelson and Gordon will work closely with the California Rangeland Trust Board of Directors and staff to protect the state’s open spaces and a way of life for California ranchers.

“We’re proud to have Mark and Valerie serve as co-chairs of the California Rangeland Trust,” said incoming California Rangeland Trust CEO Michael Delbar. “Together they represent California’s best conservationists and ranchers. Their commitment to land conservation and the Rangeland Trust remains strong.”

Gordon has served as vice chair of the Rangeland Trust’s Board of Directors for two years. After graduating from Harvard University, Gordon began her career in grasslands conservation in Merced County where she worked closely with Central Valley ranchers. Over the years, she has worked closely with multiple organizations dedicated to land protection and sustainable resource management. She also runs an international regenerative cattle operation in Mexico and Arizona as well as her ranch in Alpine County.

“Since joining the board, I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact that the Rangeland Trust has on California,” said Gordon. “Serving as co-chair of the board is a privilege, enhanced by the board’s commitment to healing our planet and leaving land as a heritage. I’m excited to work with Mark and our team at the Rangeland Trust to advance its mission.”

Nelson has served on the Rangeland Trust’s Board of Directors since 2007 and brings a wealth of experience to his new role as co-chair. Nelson also served as the president of the California Cattlemen’s Association and the Western States Angus Association. Prior to that, he was a real estate developer specializing in residential and retail projects. Nelson started the Sacramento Commercial Bank and was vice chairman for 12 years.

“It has been an honor to serve as board chair for the last two years, and I’m thrilled to continue working with my new co-chair, Valerie, and our colleagues at the California Rangeland Trust,” said Nelson. “I look forward to building upon our work together for the betterment of California.”

Nelson and Gordon will serve as co-chairs of the board through the end of 2020; Gordon will serve as chair thereafter. The California Rangeland Trust’s Board of Directors comprises 13 ranchers, conservationists and business leaders from around California who commit their time and expertise to conserving California’s open spaces.

The California Rangeland Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was created to conserve the open  space, natural habitat and stewardship provided by California’s ranches. To date, the Rangeland Trust has protected more than 338,276 Acres of productive grazing lands across the state through the use of conservation easements.