FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A second conservation easement On Alpine Zephyr Ranch
adds to Conservation and public benefits in Routt County
Media Inquiries: Karina Puikkonen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 720.557.8277
November 8, 2023
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. – The Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) has partnered with the Poole family and the Routt County Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) Board to conserve an additional 391 acres of the Alpine Zephyr Ranch in Routt County.
The Poole family has owned and managed the Alpine Zephyr Ranch for over 32 years and conveyed the first conservation easement on 807 acres of the property to the Yampa Valley Land Trust in 1998. CCALT completed a successful merger with the Yampa Valley Land Trust in 2019 and, as a result, became the holder of the original conservation easement. After acquiring additional land as part of the Emerald Mountain Land Exchange with the Bureau of Land Management, the Pooles approached CCALT in 2021 with a desire to expand the conservation easement. With funding support from Routt County through the PDR program, that vision is now a reality. By adding 391 acres to the existing conservation easement, approximately 1,198 acres of this spectacular mountain property are now permanently conserved.
“The Pooles demonstrated their commitment to conservation many years ago when they partnered with the Yampa Valley Land Trust to conserve a significant portion of the Alpine Zephyr Ranch,” said John Gioia, CCALT Director of Transactions. “We are proud to work with Keith and Colleen to further conserve this spectacular property and are grateful for the support from Routt County to help the Pooles achieve their conservation goals.”
The land within Alpine Zephyr Ranch was originally homesteaded by the Semotan family who for many years bred quarter horses in an operation that was so prolific, it resulted in Quentin and Evelyn Semotan being nominated to the Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. The property is rich in wildlife habitat including for deer, elk, moose, and cutthroat trout. The Alpine Zephyr Ranch now supports a local ranching operation and features prominently in sweeping views from various Routt County public roads and public lands. The Poole family’s commitment to further protect the property ensures these significant conservation and historic values are permanently conserved.
“Our family is incredibly fortunate to be able to add additional land to the existing conserved property,” said Keith and Colleen Poole. “This new easement will continue the preservation of the natural resource and enhance protection for the wildlife we see daily on our property. Our sincere appreciation goes to Colorado Cattleman’s Agricultural Land Trust, Routt County, and the PDR Program and to those that support these entities and their commitment to conservation efforts.”
Properties like the Alpine Zephyr Ranch serve numerous purposes to the general public. Agriculture represents a significant and relatively stable portion of Routt County’s economy, having an annual fiscal contribution of more than $46 million. Routt County’s PDR Program is a land protection tool in which a property’s development rights are purchased from willing landowners. In exchange, the landowner grants a perpetual conservation easement, or deed restriction on the property, thereby permanently protecting the land from development. To date, CCALT has conserved more than 70,000 acres of working lands in Routt County, a significant portion of which has been supported by Routt County’s PDR program.
“Conservation easements are such an important part of Routt County,” said Routt County Commissioner Timothy Corrigan in a statement. “This project is in a remarkably beautiful part of Routt County and just knowing that it will not be developed is worth every penny that we are putting into it, so thank you (Pooles)”
By further protecting the Alpine Zephyr Ranch, the Poole family’s addition to their conservation legacy in Routt County ensures that important ranchland, critical wildlife habitat, and scenic views, all rich with agricultural history, are permanently conserved.
About the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust
The Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) is a nonprofit land conservation organization whose mission is to “…conserve Colorado’s western heritage and working landscapes for the benefit of future generations.” CCALT has worked with hundreds of ranch and farm families to conserve more than 770,000 acres to date.
Routt County PDR Program has, to date, completed 54 conservation projects totaling 40,598 acres. For more information, please contact Jennifer Parent at Routt County, 970-879-0108.