The Gunnison Valley is where we live, work, and recreate. It is truly your place! Land conservation fosters healthy ecosystems, preserves wildlife habitat, helps provide clean air and water, gives us access to boundless recreational opportunities, supports our economy, maintains our rural heritage, and so much more. Conserved open spaces make the Gunnison Valley so special – the working ranchlands, clean water, scenic vistas, and healthy habitats that are invaluable to our quality of life. From recreational opportunities to ranchland management, our projects involve multiple stakeholders, exceptional planning and collaboration, and creative problem solving.
The Land Trust has been protecting land for people, wildlife, and ranching in the Gunnison Valley since 1991. Conserving and stewarding these lands is not just a task for today, but forever – the better we take care of our land today, the more the next generation will experience the Gunnison Valley we know and love. Our work is an investment in our community’s clean air and water, wildlife, ranching heritage, and natural world, and our aim is the best care possible.
The Land Trust protects land through two primary mechanisms. The first is the acquisition of conservation easements in partnership with private landowners. Easements are unique to each property, and the Land Trust works with families and individuals on the specific terms of every easement. Some lands are protected for ranching with no public access, and others provide critical wildlife habitat or perhaps an important recreational connection. No two easements are identical yet they all protect land forever.
The second way the Crested Butte Land Trust conserves land is through fee title acquisitions. The Land Trust has purchased hundreds of strategically important acres in the Gunnison Valley for the purpose of protecting a variety of conservation values. Fee acquisition projects have protected important community assets including Long Lake, the Lower Loop and the Lupine Trails, Gunsight Bridge, and critical wetlands along the Slate River.
The Crested Butte Land Trust doesn’t just work to conserve land for today. Once conserved, lands must be monitored and maintained for generations to come. Through our stewardship program, Land Trust staff and volunteers take the best possible care of our lands.
Caring for land is a constant and ever-changing task. Our process begins with annual monitoring of every private conservation easement and Land Trust fee owned parcel. Annual monitoring ensures that the terms of easements are being met and provides support for landowners who want to improve the conservation values on their property. The better we take care of our land today, the more the next generation will experience the Gunnison Valley we know and love for years to come. Stewardship is an investment for our future’s clean air and water, wildlife, and natural world.
Land stewardship includes a wide variety of responsibilities, including:
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