Treasure in the West Elk Mountains

In 1912, Alec McLeod homesteaded a beautiful property on Black Mesa, high above the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. A century later, his great-grandson, Tom McLeod, along with his sons, Custer and Levi, carry on the family heritage. They still own and operate Homestead Ranch, which lies along the West Elk & Historic Scenic Byway.

In 2011, the McLeod family protected the original 1,683-acre Homestead Ranch property with a conservation agreement that would forever protect the unmatched views and important habitat. Five years later the McLeods had the opportunity to purchase an ...

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A Year in Reflection

Recently, we published inserts in newspapers across the Western Slope to share some of the work we have accomplished in the past year. With generous support from our community, we have continued to conserve agricultural land, along with its rural heritage, wildlife habitat, recreational areas and scenic lands in western Colorado.

To read our 16-page insert that was published in the Daily Sentinel on Oct. 28, 2018, click here.

If you would like to read the insert published in the Montrose ...

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The Economic Impact of Federal Conservation Easement Payments

Last December, CWLT completed conservation work with Roblee and Clare Talbott of C & R Farms. This 22-acre, highly-productive peach and apricot orchard is the third conservation project for the family, who have grown fruit on East Orchard Mesa since 1979.

Projects like this are possible in Colorado in part because we have access to several sources of funding to purchase conservation easements on valuable acreage. Financial assistance through Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Farm Bill program, and our ...

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Aerial Monitoring With Partner, LightHawk

The stewardship responsibility of Colorado West Land Trust, the partnership between Mesa Land Trust and Black Canyon Regional Land Trust, is an enormous undertaking. Between the two organizations there are 543 separate conservation easements covering over 120,000 acres across the service area that must be monitored each year by staff members, volunteers and contractors.

Annual monitoring visits and the related hours spent entering information and compiling reports takes the CWLT staff thousands of hours each year. To make the ...

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Ed and Barb Chamberlin

A Conservation Legacy

By Sharon Sullivan

Ed Chamberlin grew up in San Jose, California in the middle of a cherry orchard that he walked through daily to get to school. Nowadays, when he visits the city he says you can’t find a cherry tree.

“It used to be a rich agricultural area – now it’s wall to wall development – the entire valley. It broke my heart. It was a beautiful area,” Chamberlin said. “That could happen here,” if not for the work of our ...

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Palisade peach field

Colorado West Land Trust nears a long-term goal

Thank you to the Daily Sentinel for the following article:

As the Colorado West Land Trust nears a long-term goal of preserving 1,000 acres of farmland in Palisade, a new 22-acre conservation easement of peach and apricot orchards is moving the needle that much closer.

Rob and Clare Talbott of C&R Farms have previously conserved 59 acres of orchards through the land trust, and Director of Conservation Ilana Moir said she was happy to hear the Talbotts wanted to do it again.

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Harry Talbot

Harry Talbot Induction Ceremony

Harry Talbot was inducted into the Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame

Watch the live stream video here:

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Land Conservation

Colorado West Land Trust: A collaborative effort to better serve the region

By Sharon Sullivan

With the goal of increasing the pace, quality and permanence of conservation in western Colorado, Mesa Land Trust and Montrose-based Black Canyon Regional Land Trust are entering into an innovative partnership to better serve the region.

The two land trusts are consolidating operations with the creation of Colorado West Land Trust. This umbrella organization will serve a region that spans the Book Cliffs to the San Juan mountains, from the Colorado-Utah border to Blue Mesa Reservoir on the Gunnison ...

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Mt Garfield Colorado

Connecting Community, Experiencing the Land

Historian Wallace Stegner got it right when he wrote that “cooperation, not rugged individualism, is the quality that most characterizes and preserves” the West. Reminders of this surround us. Parents and children ride bikes at Lunch Loop on trails constructed by volunteers across land purchased through community fundraisers. Fruit-growers enter into conservation agreements with your local land trust, ensuring future harvests. Ranchers partner with the land trust to protect habitat that forms critical migration corridors for elk and mule deer. ...

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