Central Colorado Conservancy
Protecting what we all love about Central Colorado
In Central Colorado, we enjoy an unmatched quality of life. Our wide open spaces, clean water, free-roaming wildlife, and chance to find quiet time on trails and rivers provide us a connection to the natural world and a rural lifestyle that feels wild and free. Yet the land is changing quickly as the region becomes ever-more popular. As the demand for additional space and water continues to grow, our ranches are being subdivided, wildlife cutoff from historic migration routes, and our Western heritage could disappear. Central Colorado Conservancy is committed to conserving the region’s land, water and wildlife to protect the values that make Central Colorado special.
Central Colorado’s open valley bottoms help define our rural character and sense of place. These lands are critical to wildlife and they filter water to keep our rivers and streams clean. When these working lands disappear, through development or the transfer of water to metro cities, the community loses. As a nationally accredited land trust, we work with landowners to help keep local agriculture viable through conservation easements, to preserve our sweeping vistas, local food production and Western heritage.
Keep Working Lands Working
To fully protect what we all love about Central Colorado, conserving land is not enough. We also need to keep working lands working – to protect our irrigated fields, stunning views, and to keep the lands productive for local foods, wildlife, and waters.
Connect to Protect
From the valley floor to the mountain peaks, we partner with over 80 organizations to propel meaningful collaboration within our community. These partnerships enable us to listen to the members of the local community so we can craft new growth and protection solutions that cater to the wants and needs of residents and ranchers.
Thanks to you, we raised over $60,000 at our 10th Annual Event!
A very special THANK YOU to all our attendees, sponsors, and volunteers who made our 10th Annual Event our most successful event to date!
We were incredibly humbled by the warmth and compassion that you all displayed for our mission on this momentous night. From a riveting address by former Gov. Ritter and the announcement of our newest conservation project “Forever Chaffee”, to raising over $60,000 to support our mission, we couldn’t be more thankful for such a wonderful evening.
Again, THANK YOU for helping us protect what we all love about Central Colorado! We’ll see you all next year at the 11th Annual Event.
Our Newest Conservation Project
The Conservancy is officially announcing our newest and largest conservation project in the history of the organization. This monumental effort to connect and protect rural lands in the heart of Chaffee County is a collection of three easements nestled between the Arkansas River and Collegiate Peaks Byway (highway 285) from Buena Vista to Salida.
The project will protect nearly 2,000 acres on the Centerville, Tri-Lazy W, and Arrowpoint Cattle Co. ranches in rural Chaffee County. Each parcel supports working agricultural families, as well as protecting wildlife corridors that connect the forests of the Sawatch range to the banks of the Arkansas River and the wild lands of Brown’s Canyon National Monument.
Whether you love our valley for its working agricultural lands, our magnificent herds of deer and elk, or our river for its life-giving water and recreation opportunities, the lands included in this project will help protect the quality of life and rural sense of place that we all enjoy on a daily basis.
All three parcels included are also ranked as “High Priority” in the Collegiate Peaks Scenic & Historic Byway Conservation Plan. In addition to their scenic qualities and agricultural importance, these lands are highly ranked due to the essential habitat they provide for wildlife species such as the imperiled Lewis’s Woodpecker, Bald Eagle, bobcat, mule deer, pronghorn, elk, and mountain lion.
The Arkansas Valley between Buena Vista and Salida is booming with subdivision development. These conservation easements offer the chance to conserve a large expanse of open lands that will continue to provide irrigated agricultural production, wildlife habitat, and scenic views enjoyed by visitors and locals. Due to the high impact of this project, we believe it will serve as a catalyst for additional conservation in the area.
“Our newest conservation project will connect and protect lands that are critical to preserving our rural way of life, supporting working lands and families, and conserving the vast ecological resources of Chaffee County’s private lands. Our goal is to protect these lands, their resources and uninterrupted views so that future generations can enjoy them just as we do today. By completing this project, we will be creating a path to connect future lands, such as the beloved Castles property on Highway 285 east of BV, that will help keep rural lands in Chaffee County protected forever.”
-Executive Director Adam Beh
If you have any questions about this project, you can contact our Executive Director Adam Beh at [email protected]. If you would like to help protect what we all love about Central Colorado by supporting this new endeavor, donations can be made by calling 719-539-7700 or by stopping by our office at 128 E. First St., Salida.
Donations can also be made online by clicking here.
*Please note that all donations made to the Central Colorado Conservancy will be classified as General Donations, which help our organization as a whole deliver on our important mission at hand.
The Campaign to Preserve the Centerville Ranch: $25,000 Keep it Country Challenge
UPDATE 8.5.19: The match goal has been reached!
We’re thrilled to announce that community donations reached the $25,000 challenge goal by the August 1 deadline!
The campaign raised a total of $55,772 for the Centerville Ranch project. It also pushed the fundraising total for the initial community-focused phase of the project past the $100,000 needed by August.
With this all-important first step completed, the Conservancy can move into the second phase of funding to secure a conservation easement for 650 acres of the property, which is just south of Nathrop on the east side of US Highway 285. The community-raised donations are a critical piece of the strategy, as many organizations that fund projects such as Centerville Ranch require a local funding commitment from individuals and businesses that establishes the validity of the project.
Thank you to the community for its unprecedented support and stepping up to meet this challenge!
Read the official press release: Centerville Initial Campaign Achieved [link to release PDF].
Thank you to Pam and Don Dubin, who, along with an anonymous donor, contributed the matching funds for the Keep it Country Challenge.
Read more about the Campaign to Preserve the Centerville Ranch.
Featured Project: Ark River Community Preserve
The Ark River Community Preserve permanently protects 90 acres of land and a mile of Arkansas River frontage from development in southern Lake County. It delivers to the community a new recreation area with access to fishing, rafting and kayaking, along with hiking and nature trails, and wildlife viewing areas.