Nancy Merrill is co-founder and President of the Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition, Inc. (CCCC), a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the conservation of Sandhill Cranes and their habitat in Northwest Colorado. CCCC was founded as a grassroots movement in 2012 in response to a proposal to permit hunting of Greater Sandhill Cranes in Northwest Colorado. After the defeat of that threat, Nancy was instrumental in organizing the inaugural Yampa Valley Crane Festival. Now in its third year the Yampa Valley Crane Festival is a four day celebration that serves to educate the public about cranes and the dangers they face both in Colorado and throughout the world.
Nancy lives with her husband of 46 years on the Yampavian Ranch, near Hayden, Colorado. The mission statement of the ranch is “Habitat Enhancement for Birds.” The ranch, with its bird/wildlife improved riparian habitat, is under conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy. In addition to crane-related activity, Nancy has been an active birder, even during her 30-year psychotherapy practice in suburban Chicago. She cofounded and coordinates the Yampa Valley Birding Club. She is a docent and bird walk leader at The Nature Conservancy’s Carpenter Ranch and serves on the Board of Directors for the Yampa Valley Land Trust and the Walker Ditch Company. Nancy graduated from Stanford University in 1968 and received a Master of Social Work from the University of Washington in 1970. She and her husband have two children and 2 grandchildren.