What’s in a Name?
Colorado West Land Trust is a consolidation of Mesa Land Trust and Black Canyon Regional Land Trust. The two organizations came together in 2017 to better protect and conserve agricultural land, along with its rural heritage, wildlife habitat, recreational areas and scenic lands in western Colorado. With over 123,000 acres conserved in 6 counties (Delta, Gunnison, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel), Colorado West Land Trust seeks to meet both local and regional conservation needs.
As a private, non-profit organization accredited by the Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Commission, our mission is to protect and enhance agricultural land, wildlife habitat and scenic lands in western Colorado to benefit the community at large, enrich lives, provide opportunities for outdoor recreation, and ensure our connection to land for generations to come.
Colorado West Land Trust pursues its mission through land protection, stewardship, outreach and education programs. Through these channels, the organization serves the farming and ranching community, preserves wildlife and riparian habitat, expands land and trails for recreationists, protects views and open space, and helps ensure the availability of locally-sourced food.
Coming soon: A modified narrative of the history of Mesa Land Trust by John Butler, Board Member Emeritus
Preview: In the mid-to-late 1970s, the prevailing thought in the U.S. was that crude oil produced from oil shale could help abate the nation’s energy crisis. The U.S. Department of the Interior announced an oil shale leasing program in portions of Colorado and Utah in 1974, and northern Mesa County was seen as prime land to start cracking rocks and extracting oil. There were predictions that close to 1 million people would be employed in the synfuel industry on the Western Slope, a forecast that left many astounded at the impending change in the region. One fear was that agricultural land in the Grand Valley would eventually be developed to accommodate the population growth…