CCALT partnered with nine ranching families from across Colorado to conserve some of Colorado’s most productive agricultural land. More than 50% of the ranches conserved in 2015 have three or more generations actively involved in agricultural operations.
This year CCALT conserved 14,479.8 acres of productive agricultural land in eight different Colorado counties. In the past 20 years, CCALT has conserved more than 463,000 acres.
*Visualize CCALT’s success: one acre is approximately the size of a football field.
CCALT worked with private landowners and conservation partners across the state to protect key habitat for the sage grouse in 2015. The conservation efforts culminated in September when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided not to list the species under the Endangered Species Act.
All nine ranches that CCALT conserved this year provide habitat for a wide variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. Specifically, 16 species of State Special Concern and two State Threatened species.
CCALT increased habitat connectivity by protecting land adjacent to six pre-existing conservation easements, four of which are held by CCALT. CCALT’s 2015 conservation work also protected ranches near BLM land, Paonia State Park, the White River National Forest, and the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area. Two of this year’s conservation easements are adjacent to each other. This conservation work will contribute to landscape level conservation and habitat connectivity in Colorado.
This spring, CCALT worked with Colorado conservation partners and lawmakers to pass Senate Bill 206. The bill provided enhanced incentives for landowners who choose to complete conservation easements on their property. Enhanced incentives help to offset the transaction costs of completing a conservation easement, and allow landowners to conserve larger parcels of land.
Molly Fales, Maggie Hanna, and Jayne Thompson were hired on as full time staff in 2015. All three young women are from ranching families and are excited to be a part of CCALT! Both Molly and Maggie are CCALT legacies, and follow in the footsteps of their respective fathers, Bill Fales and Kirk Hanna.
This year, CCALT conserved 27.77 miles along four major waterways and tributary creeks, including waterfront on the S. Arkansas River, the East Fork of the Williams Fork River, the Blue River, and the Colorado River. In addition to protecting major waterways and tributary creeks, CCALT also conserved approximately 984 acres of irrigated hay meadows and the water necessary to ensure the ranches’ long-term productivity.
A benefit to all Coloradans, CCALT’s conservation efforts in 2015 resulted in the preservation of multiple scenic byways and pristine mountain vistas. Mt. Ouray, Mt. Shavano, the Collegiate Peaks, the Raggeds, Miranda Peak, Culebra Peak, Vermejo Peak, Pike’s Peak, Tecolote Mesa, Carrizo Mountain, Black Mesa, Mesa de Maya, Dunkley and Beaver Flat Tops, and the Williams Fork Mountains are all visible from ranches conserved this year.
There are four U.S. highways and four state highways running through the properties that CCALT conserved in 2015. This work will preserve several famous Colorado views in perpetuity. Of those highways, four scenic and historic byways cross the ranches, including: the Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway and Chaffee County Heritage Area; the Gold Belt Tour Scenic Byway; West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway; and the Highway of Legends Scenic and Historic Byway.
This spring CCALT unveiled our new logo, website, and Forever Colorado initiative. We are eager to take on another decade of land conservation with a new look. We are excited about sharing CCALT’s work and mission with even more people who care about Colorado’s agricultural land and western heritage.
This year CCALT raised approximately $160,000 at our annual Summer BBQ. $31,080 of that was raised specifically for CCALT’s Save an Acre program, which will allow CCALT to work with more ranching families, and conserve more than 1,240 acres of Colorado’s productive agricultural land.