Every year the CCALT staff takes a moment to reflect on the accomplishments of the previous 365 days. As we reflect back, we always find ourselves in awe of the work accomplished and the outpouring of support from donors, partners, and landowners who made it all possible. 2018 is no exception and we’re excited to share ten “wins” that YOU made possible for CCALT in 2018. Thank you for a great year!
9 Families Utilize Conservation Easements to Continue Ranching Legacies
CCALT partnered with nine ranching families from across Colorado to conserve some of the state’s most productive agricultural land. 75% of the ranches conserved in 2018 are owned and operated by multigenerational ranching families.One of the ranches conserved this year is fifth generation!
14,520 Acres of farm and ranchland conserved
This year CCALT conserved 14,520 acres of productive agricultural land in 7 different Colorado counties. In terms of acres conserved, CCALT is the fourth largest land trust in the nation with more than 571,000 acres conserved. Each year, CCALT conserved ranches provide approximately $208 million in economic and environmental benefits to Colorado.*Visualize CCALT’s success: one acre is approximately the size of a football field. That’s nearly 15,000 football fields conserved this year alone!
Awarded the 16th Annual Leopold Conservation Award
In 2018, CCALT presented the 16th Colorado Leopold Conservation Award alongside the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and the Sand County Foundation. CCALT and the award’s many partners recognized the Wooten Family and Beatty Canyon Ranch for their land and stewardship ethic. The family is well known for their outstanding community and industry engagement, as well as their red angus cattle, and many conservation efforts. Today, the Wooten’s operate their ranch with the 4th, 5th, and 6th generations!
Visited and Monitored All Conservation Easements Held by CCALT
In fulfilling our long-term obligations to ensure that the terms of the conservation easements held by CCALT are maintained, staff visited each of the 346 farms and ranches that have partnered with CCALT in the protection of their land.
Increased Habitat Connectivity and Conservation for Native Species
CCALT increased habitat connectivity by protecting land near or adjacent to four National Forests this year. CCALT’s 2018 conservation work also added to the protection of an entire swath of conserved ranches near the Wyoming-Colorado border, and conserved land bordering multiple Wilderness Areas, BLM, and State Land Board land. This conservation work contributes to landscape level conservation and habitat connectivity in Colorado.
All eight ranches that CCALT conserved this year provide habitat for a wide variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects that are native to Colorado. Specifically, CCALT conserved the following acres of important wildlife habitat this year:
- Greater Sage-grouse: 361.91 acres
- Moose: 4,371 acres
- Pronghorn: 3,253 acres
- Mule Deer: 14,914 acres
- Elk: 11,920 acres
- Bald Eagle: 2,552 acres
Defended Conservation at the State Legislature
CCALT Executive Director, Erik Glenn, worked with and led several efforts across Colorado to ensure the future of ranchland conservation, including:
Colorado Lottery Proceeds will continue to Advance Conservation
Colorado Lottery will continue to be allocated to Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) in support of conservation and outdoor recreation through 2049. Over the past 25 years, GOCO funding has helped organizations like CCALT to permanently protect more than 1 million acres of working agricultural land, wildlife habitat, and open space.
Conservation Tax Credit Program Extended
The passing of House Bill (HB) 1291 created the country’s first Division of Conservation, extended the conservation easement tax credit program, and established a framework for creating the next generation of conservation incentives for Colorado landowners. Since 2000, conservation easement tax credits have been used to conserve more than 2.2 million acres of private land – iconic vistas, working farms and ranches, and forest and riparian ecosystems.
More than 11 Miles of Main Waterways and Major Tributary Creeks Conserved
This year, CCALT conserved 11.75 miles along major waterways and tributary creeks. In addition to protecting major waterways and tributary creeks, CCALT also conserved important hay meadows and the water resources necessary to ensure the ranches’ long-term productivity. One ranch conserved in 2018 spans west along the southeastern shoreline of Green Mountain Reservoir.
Helped Establish the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Land Trust
For the past two years CCALT has been assisting the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association in developing an agricultural land trust. In December 2018, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, South Dakota Farm Bureau, South Dakota Grasslands Coalition, and the South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts united to launch the South Dakota Agricultural Land Trust. Once up and running this organization will be able to serve the conservation needs of South Dakota’s agricultural families.
Unobstructed Colorado Views Preserved
A benefit to all Coloradans, CCALT’s conservation efforts in 2018 resulted in the preservation of views iconic to Colorado – rolling prairies, mountain vistas, and meandering streams. Views of the prairie grasslands and canyon country of Las Animas County to the southern shore of Green Mountain Reservoir were impacted. The Flat Tops, Sangre de Cristo’s, San Juan Range, Gore Range, Medicine Bow, Never Summer, Park, and Rabbit Ears Ranges are all also visible from ranches conserved this year.
One U.S. highway, three state highways, and one scenic byway run along or through the properties that CCALT conserved in 2018, offering travelers unobstructed views of Colorado’s iconic natural beauty.
One Scenic Byway – Three miles of the Cache La Poudre-North Park Scenic Byway were impacted by CCALT’s work in 2018.
Added Two New Staff Members Amber Pougiales – External Relations Coordinator
Amber Pougiales – External Relations Coordinator
In 2018 Amber joined the CCALT team after completing her graduate degree in Natural Resource Stewardship from Colorado State University. Amber grew up in Steamboat Springs Colorado and has already made a positive impact in her role of planning and facilitating CCALT events.
Bob Tate – Special Projects Manager
In January of 2018 Bob joined CCALT as our Special Projects Manager. Beyond being a longtime friend and supporter of conservation, Bob has devoted countless hours to working with Colorado land trusts to ensure their viability and effectiveness into the future. He was a great addition to the team in 2018!
Farm Bill Success
CCALT and its fellow agricultural land trusts across the West helped secure an additional $2 Billion in conservation funding through the Farm Bill over the next 10 years. In December, the President signed the 2018 Farm Bill which is the single largest funder of conservation efforts in Colorado.
Thank YOU for making all of these “wins” possible this year. 2019, here we come!