10 Families Will Continue Ranching Legacies
CCALT partnered with ten ranching families from across Colorado to conserve some of Colorado’s most productive agricultural land. More than 80% of the conservation easements in 2016 aided in generational transfer.
Surpassed 500,000 Total Acres conserved
This year CCALT conserved 37,226.9 acres of productive agricultural land in seven different Colorado counties. This work pushed CCALT over 500,000 acres conserved in its 21-year history.
*Visualize CCALT’s success: one acre is approximately the size of a football field. That’s nearly 40,000 football fields conserved this year alone!
Leopold Conservation Award
Designed to celebrate committed land management practices that increase conservation in Colorado, the 2016 Leopold Conservation Award had nearly double as many applications as previous years. Pictured above, the 2016 winners, Keven and Sandi Turecek and their family.
Important Habitat for Native Species Conserved
All ten ranches that CCALT conserved this year provide habitat for a wide variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects that are native to Colorado. In 2016, CCALT conserved more than 4,184.9 acres of Greater Sage-grouse habitat, and more than 23,000 acres of big game habitat for elk, mule deer, and pronghorn.
Increased Habitat Connectivity
CCALT increased habitat connectivity by protecting land adjacent to four existing conservation easements, three of which are held by CCALT. CCALT’s 2016 conservation work also protected ranches bordering BLM land, United States Forest Service land including the Comanche National Grasslands, and State Land Board land. This conservation work contributes to landscape level conservation and habitat connectivity in Colorado.
Secured Two Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Protect Grants
CCALT applied for and was awarded two GOCO protect grants totaling $4.787 million that will go towards conserving six ranches in Colorado and help five ranching families meet their conservation goals. The projects will conserve prairie canyon lands in southeastern Colorado and vital grassland habitat in eastern Colorado.
Engaged Young People in Conservation
This year, CCALT was able to provide internships and fellowships to four young people interested in the agriculture and conservation industry. Jon Byerly and Hannah Oakes joined CCALT as summer interns, helping with stewardship monitoring and assisting project staff. Kacie Burns and Michael-Anne Goodart were the first Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and CCALT fellows. Michael Anne recently finished her fellowship and accepted a position with the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts.
More than 30 Miles of Main Waterways and Major Tributary Creeks Conserved
This year, CCALT conserved 33.7 miles along major waterways and tributary creeks, including waterfronts on the Laramie River and Yampa River. Of the ranches conserved this year, one is home to the Hohnholz Lakes Campground and has one mile of public access fishing through an easement with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
In addition to protecting major waterways and tributary creeks, CCALT also conserved approximately 3,371 acres of irrigatedhay meadows and the water necessary to ensure the ranches’ long-term productivity.
Unobstructed Mountain Views Preserved
A benefit to all Coloradans, CCALT’s conservation efforts in 2016 resulted in the preservation of multiple scenic byways and pristine mountain vistas. Mountain views from the Medicine Bow Range, Never Summer Mountains, Rabbit Ears Range, Snowy Range, and Flat Top Range are all visible from ranches conserved this year.
One U.S. highway and four state highways run along or through the properties that CCALT conserved in 2016 and these properties offer travelers unobstructed views of Colorado’s iconic natural beauty. This work will preserve several famous Colorado views in perpetuity. Two scenic byways, the Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway and the Colorado River Headwaters Scenic Byway, were impacted by CCALT’s work in 2016. In addition, two of the ranches conserved this year are crossed by the Sante Fe Trail, a National Historic Trail.
First Successful Orphan Easement Consolidation and Rehabilitation
The transfer and consolidation of 20 easements from a non-functioning land trust to CCALT was completed; doing so helped a family that has been a Colorado Cattlemen’s Association member since 1953. CCALT’s 2016 Forever Colorado BBQ was held on this ranch to highlight the unique conservation values of the property, the eastern plains, and the resilient family that has stewarded it for generations.
Increased Support for CCALT
In 2016, financial support for CCALT increased by 30% compared to last year. Donors and partners helped the land trust to raise more than $50,000 on Colorado Gives Day alone, more than doubling giving from last year and making it the land trust’s most successful Colorado Gives Day to date.
Economic and Environmental Services
The 500,000 acres CCALT now holds under conservation easement generate more than $197 million in environmental services and benefits (things like carbon sequestration, flood mitigation, etc.) to the citizens of Colorado on an annual basis.