Restoration continues to engage volunteers on Monument Road and enhances views leading to Colorado National Monument

Late last November, restoration ecologist David Varner led a group of Riverside Educational Center middle school students on an after-school working field trip to collect seed from native plants at the Three Sisters and Lunch Loop area on Monument Road. Learning about the different plants and following meticulous directions, the students collected an abundance of seeds.

Through another partnership with Colorado Mesa University professors Margot Becktell and Deb Kennard, students are now propagating the seeds in a greenhouse. Once the seedlings ...

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40 Stories in 40 Weeks: Lazy H Ranch

Original story by Sharon Sullivan

Just beyond the beautiful North Fork community of Paonia lies nearly 4,200 acres of prime high mountain rangeland, irrigated pasture, and particularly rich and diverse wildlife habitat along over three miles on both sides of the North Fork of the Gunnison

In the spring of 2011, this ground was on the market and aggressively priced to sell and relieve some ...

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40 Stories in 40 Weeks: Past Shapes the Present in Plateau Valley

For Land Trust board member Max Stites, conservation gets personal. Max traces his Plateau Valley roots back four generations. Over the last decades, Mesa Land Trust has completed 31 conservation agreements, protecting over 14,500 acres of Plateau Valley ranch land and wildlife habitat. Protected acreage includes irrigated pastures and migration corridors utilized by elk, deer, and other wildlife species.

We are delighted that Max has generously shared his family’s story with us:

Heber Young and John Stites were big rawboned young men ...

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40 Stories in 40 Weeks: The Ouray North Corridor Trail

By Sharon Sullivan

The Ouray North Corridor Trail (also known as the Uncompahgre River Walk Loop) was created in 1999. The 18 conserved acres includes a two-mile loop along the river with a bridge linking the two sides. Exercise stations, playgrounds, benches and picnic tables along the trail draw townspeople and visitors alike.

The conserved property also provides access for kayakers and recreationists who want to float the river. During the winter, Ouray County Nordic Council volunteers groom the trails for cross-country ...

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GOCO gives $50K to help conserve Crawford-area ranch through Colorado West Land Trust

By Katharhynn Heidelberg at Montrose Daily Press–Efforts to preserve a working ranch—and the big game migration, views, and habitat it hosts—received help in the form of a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado.

Colorado West Land Trust is working with the owners of a Crawford-area ranch to finalize a conservation easement that will protect more than 1,200 acres from development, while allowing ranch work to continue.

Late last week, GOCO’s Conservation Easement Transaction Costs program awarded the trust $50,000 to help move the ...

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Crew working to restore natural habitat along Monument Corridor Trail

By Dan West at the Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction–New growth is sprouting along the Monument Corridor Trail as a Western Colorado Conservation Corps youth crew began work to remove invasive plants and put in native shrubs.

During construction of the paved trail, which connects the Lunch Loop Trailhead to the Riverfront Trail, some areas near the trail were damaged, leaving bare spots that could be retaken by weeds, Colorado West Land Trust Project Manager Libby Collins said.

“They put in the ...

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40 Stories in 40 Weeks: Preserving Fruit Land for Family Farms

By Sharon Sullivan

On a sunny September morning, Al Ruckman shares his bounty with a visitor to his East Orchard Mesa farm–a handful of blackberries from the patch near his house; a ripe peach plucked from the orchard just beyond the front pasture. A box of newly harvested tomatoes, cucumbers and jalapeno peppers sit in the barn waiting ...

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40 Stories in 40 Weeks: Anna Roehm Lawson and the Heart of a Family Ranch (2010 Reprint)

By Pam Childers

One hour from Grand Junction and 15 miles west of the Glade Park Store, a metal gate leads to the original log cabin home of Anna Roehm Lawson, who has lived on this land since she was ten days old. We are greeted by a friendly young hound and an elderly dachshund. Anna is already busy in the kitchen, talking on the phone. She welcomes us into the newest addition to the multi-sectioned log home.

We are joined by ...

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40 Stories in 40 Weeks: Cordova Farm Protected in Fruita Buffer Zone (2003 Reprint)

Mesa Land Trust and the Mesa County Community Separator Area project are happy to announce the recent completion of their sixth conservation easement in the Grand Valley’s buffer zones.

In July, Betty Cordova placed a conservation easement covering her beautiful 39-acre farm on J Road in the Fruita Community Separator. The Cordova farm is currently planted in corn and is located adjacent to two other already-protected properties in the Fruita buffer zone, the Dixie Williams Ranch and the Basher horse farm. ...

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40 Stories in 40 Weeks: A North Fork Memorial to Land and People (2011 Reprint)

“1894 – As long as grass grows, spring wind blows and water flows the land will nurture us and we will nurture the land. These acres are dedicated forever to conservation by the Norman Kehmeier family.”

On July 4, 2011, members of the Kehmeier family gathered back on their land from far-flung corners of the world to dedicate a stone memorial with a plaque carrying the words quoted above.

The land has been in the family for over a century (thus the ...

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