Upcoming Events

Learn more about living with bears

The Conservancy offers a Living with Bears educational program presented by wildlife biologist Cindy Lawrence from 7-8 p.m. on Sept. 16 at the Salida Community Center. Lawrence will discuss black bear biology and the effects, consequences and prevention of human-bear conflict. Learn what makes black bears so susceptible to ever-emboldening interactions with people. This talk is free to the public.


Lecture offers a focus on the Milky Way

The summer Milky Way giving way to the late fall season over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the Wet Mountain Valley from Main Street of Westcliffe. Since the human eye can see a greater range of dim to bright than any camera, it’s necessary to combine a time exposure star image with a terrestrial one to create what a person with dark-adapted eyes can experience. Dark Skies photo credits : Curtis Urban (star), Watson Land Co. (Terrestrial).

The Conservancy works to protect land, water and wildlife but we also love the night sky! Come hear Dark Skies President Jim Bradburn talk about how his Westcliffe organization has been instrumental in making the Wet Mountain Valley a dark sky success, and the first in Colorado to be certified an International Dark Sky Community.

Bradburn and his nonprofit’s efforts have been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, CNN and The Today Show. It all started with an effort to install shielded lights in a hospital parking lot and the question: “How can we protect our beautiful Wet Mountain Valley’s rural charm from being lost to big-city problems like light pollution?”

Find out how they did it by attending the Conservancy-hosted event. Bradburn speaks on Sept. 28, from 7-9 p.m. at the meeting room of Salida’s Mount Shavano Manor, located at 525 W. 16th St. Cost is $3 for Conservancy members and $5 for non-members. Contact the office via email or call 539-7700 to sign up.


Conservancy hosts field program at protected Poncha Springs river property

Lilian Bender’s 86-acre Poncha Springs property was placed under conservation easement with the Conservancy early this year. Join a special field program on Oct. 10 to visit this preserved acreage on the South Arkansas River.

Visit our newest conservation easement by joining Conservancy Naturalist Sally Waterhouse for a special field program on Tuesday, Oct. 10, from 8:40 -11:30 a.m. at a private property on the South Arkansas River in Poncha Springs.

Participants will learn about the riparian landscape along the river during this two-hour program, walking through large cottonwoods and talking about the land’s history, ecology and future restoration work.

The property was placed under conservation easement by owner Lilian Bender early this year. The land is home to songbirds, turkey, deer, trout, and an occasional bear. This is also an active ranching property supporting working agriculture.

This is the second year Sally has helped the Conservancy showcase its preserved land and waterways as a volunteer naturalist. Her field programs present unique opportunities to visit private properties that are not open to the public.

The program is designed for adults and children over 12 years of age. We will meet at 8:40 a.m. at the Poncha visitor’s center. Arrive prepared to walk across wet ground, with water, sunscreen and other necessities.

The program is free for Conservancy members and $5 for non-members. Group size is limited to 12 participants and is expected to fill up quickly. Contact the Conservancy office via email or call 539-7700 to register.


Mountainfilm on Tour!

Mountainfilm on Tour is coming to Chaffee County Oct. 19-20!

The Conservancy and GARNA are teaming up once again to bring two evenings of film from Mountainfilm on Tour to Salida and Buena Vista. Mountainfilm is a dynamic organization with a festival of films, people, stories and ideas that celebrates indomitable spirit, educates and inspires audiences, and motivates individuals and communities to advance solutions for a livable world.

Ticket proceeds will support land conservation and youth outdoor and environmental education programs through these two organizations, as well Student Stewards projects through the Crest Academy at Salida School District.

There are two Mountainfilm showings in Chaffee County this year, plus membership incentives for those who are new to join either the Conservancy or GARNA:

  • Thursday, Oct. 19 at the Salida High School Auditorium in Salida
  • Friday, Oct. 20 at the Buena Vista Community Center

Doors open at 6 p.m. both nights and films start at 7 p.m. Food, beverages and popcorn will be available for purchase at the Buena Vista showing. The same films will be shown on each night.

Purchase your tickets today!


Save the date!

Please mark your calendars for the Central Colorado Conservancy Annual Event & Fundraiser set for Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds. We are planning a great event with updates on recent accomplishments and another fun-filled silent auction. Tickets go on sale in the fall.


There are currently no additional events but please check back soon or follow us on Facebook for updates about all of our activities.