Why Conserve Land?

The Gunnison Valley is where we live, work and recreate. The Crested Butte Land Trust works with willing landowners, local governments and non-profit partners to protect landscapes worth saving, one acre at a time.  Land conservation fosters healthy ecosystems, preserves wildlife habitat, helps provide clean air and water, gives us access to boundless recreational opportunities, supports our economy, and maintains our rural heritage. So much of what makes Gunnison Valley special is conserved open spaces: working ranchlands, clean water, scenic vistas, and healthy habitats that are invaluable to our quality of life. 

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.  

Once conserved, lands must be monitored and maintained in perpetuity through the Land Trust’s stewardship program. The stewardship team is responsible for visiting, reporting on, and managing all of our conserved and owned properties.


Learn more about the ongoing work of caring for the nearly 6,000 acres of land conserved by the Land Trust.

Success Stories

With your support, the Land Trust has protected what you love about the Gunnison Valley for over thirty years.


Conservation landowners are the backbone of land protection in the Gunnison Valley.