Click here to see a list of AVLT Conserved Properties.
Map of land conserved by or in partnership with AVLT as of 12/31/08
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View an interactive map of AVLT's conserved lands to learn more!
In the last 10 years, AVLT has experienced exponential growth in the amount of land it has helped to conserve. Thanks are due in part to generous tax incentives enacted by the IRS and Colorado Department of Revenue to encourage private land conservation, but mainly to the many dedicated landowners who have chosen to preserve their land in perpetuity through donated conservation easements. We also thank our partners: Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, the City of Aspen, Colorado Conservation Trust, Great Outdoors Colorado, The Conservation Fund, and others.
Snapshots: AVLT Conservation Projects
Left: Gran and Glenda Farnum of Glenwood Springs donated a conservation easement on 130 acres of this scenic ranch 20 miles north of DeBeque. Nestled in the folds of the ever-famous Roan Cliffs, this property is near the 150-acre Scott Ranch Conservation Easement (below), which was preserved by Tom and Sue Scott in 2006.
The Scott Ranch Conservation Easement north of DeBeque is situated between Brush Mountain and 4A Mountain, and is located in a Potential Conservation Area designated by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program for its biological significance.
Quarter Circle 8 Ranch, a working cattle ranch owned by Wendy and Gary McNulty, contains over 1,200 acres of scenic ranchland at the base of Basalt Mountain in Missouri Heights (you can see it from Cottonwood Pass). Over 241 acres of the ranch have been placed under conservation easement so far, while Wendy hopes to eventually preserve the entire ranch.
Left: the lower pastures of Crown Mountain Ranch along East Sopris Creek.
Crown Mountain Ranch in Emma (formerly known as the Fender Ranch), was purchased and conserved by Tom and Linda Clark in 2006. The project was made possible with funding from Pitkin County Open Space and Trails and Great Outdoors Colorado. Pitkin County and AVLT now co-hold a conservation easement on this 565-acre historic ranch. The Clark's also donated a conservation easement to AVLT on their adjacent 120-acre Clark Ranch .
Bill Fender on the upper pastures of Crown Mountain Ranch (aka Fender Ranch)
The Darien Ranch lies far up the Crystal Valley not far from Marble. Home the Ute Meadows Inn and the former Ute Meadows Nordic Center, this property was once platted for a 672-unit subdivision. Larry and Dana Darien opted to conserve the historic ranch instead, and began by donating a 35-acre conservation easement at the base of Prospect Mountain. In 2007 another 35-acre parcel was added through funding from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Crystal Watershed Legacy Project grant. The Dariens plan to add an additional 94 acres in 2008 also through GOCO funding. The ranch is a scenic gem that carries with it the ranching history of the Crystal Valley. It also hosted a rare sighting of the Endagered Canada lynx in 2005.
In the Town of Marble, the once-future Marble Ski Area sits on the outskirts of wilderness overlooking the town. While it never became a ski area, it was subdivided into numerous small lots, several of which have been conserved by Kevin and Wendy Harris, Bill and Pam Rikkers, and Linda and Bill Walden. There are now conservation easements on 18 acres of open space bordering National Forest and containing public Forest Service trails.
Charlotte Hood and her sons Jesse and Joe have conserved over 240 acres of the Hood Ranch in upper South Canyon west of Glenwood Springs. This beautiful high country ranch is surrounded by White River National Forest and provides outstanding wildlife habitat while preserving a historic way of life.
The Weiben Ranch in the Capitol Creek Valley is adjacent to the 740-acre Capitol Creek Ranch Conservation Eaesment, and is part of a historic ranch homestead the gateway to the Snowmass-Maroon Bells Wilderness. Over 200 acres of the ranch were placed under conservation easement with AVLT in 2005.
View toward Mount Sopris and the Capitol Creek Ranch conservation easement (background) from the Weiben Ranch easement (foreground).
In Canyon Creek west of Glenwood Springs, eight landowning families have teamed up to save 266 acres of contiguous open space of the lower river corridor, and 320 acres in East Canyon Creek. Thanks to the following people: Rue Balcomb and Bruce Arbaney, Bruce and Dayle Robinson, Tom Beard and Pam Szedelyi, Connie Engler, Liz Armstrong and Michelle Alford, Sandie and Robert Carter, Peter and Patrice Knobel and East Canyon Creek Ranch LLC.
Left: The steep relief of East Canyon Creek Ranch
Left: Jim and Sharon Nieslanik of Missouri Heights (near Carbondale) have conserved 430 acres of this historic ranch.
Below: Strang Ranch on Missouri Heights, now 298 conserved acres by Mike and Kit Strang and their family.
In 2005, the John Nieslanik ranch became the first success story in AVLT's effort to preserve Carbondale's beloved East Mesa. Click here for more...
John Nieslanik (center) and sons Mike, Mark, Matt & Marty at the signing of a landmark conservation easement to preserve part of the East Mesa.
At the base of the Roan Cliffs 9 miles north of Rifle lies the rugged and scenic Blackman Ranch, homesteaded by the family of Barbara Lowery in 1911. Barb and her late husband Jerry began conserving the property in 2005, and have now protected 720 acres of this private inholding surrounded by thousands of acres of public land and home to numerous wildlife species.
The W/J Ranch has long been at the center of Aspen political and land use planning debates. While some of the ranch has been developed, 115 acres of it - including the scenic meadows with their stunning views of the Elk Range visible from McLain Flats Road west of Aspen - are now preserved through conservation easements held jointly by AVLT and Pitkin County.
Photo by Sarah Chase Shaw (c) 2005.
In April 2006, Connie Harvey completed the conservation of over 1,820 acres on her Old Snowmass ranch between Snowmass and Capitol Creek valleys. With the help of Pitkin County, Great Outdoors Colorado and AVLT, Connie has placed a conservation easement over her entire ranch that will preserve outstanding wildlife habitat, a working cattle operation, and scenic views from local wilderness areas and national forest. Thank you Connie for your lifetime of dedication to environmental causes and future vision!
Divide Creek and Dry Hollow:
Singletree Ranch and the Daley-Myers Ranch (left) in Divide Creek are adjacent working ranches conserved by Frank and Sheila Daley and Sue and Jimmy Myers, respectively.
336 contiguous acres on Morris Ranch (left) and Kinstead Ranch (below) in Dry Hollow, south of Silt, were placed under conservation easement between 2003 and 2004. Thank you to Renny and Judy Schoonmaker and Morris Ranch.
One mile to the north, Tom and Sandy Lloyd conserved their 216-acre 7H Ranch (right). AVLT has helped preserve over 2,800 acres of private agricultural land between in Divide Creek and Dry Hollow.
Left: Jerry Fazzi & grandson Ryan, Pat & Rosemary Patterson
Below: Fazzi Ranch in Divide Creek.
Pat & Rosemary Patterson preserved Grand View Ranch (right), while in West Divide Creek Tom Lloyd and his partners preserved the 300-acre McCray Ranch in (below), and Fred Ingelhart preserved Little Muddy Gulch (below right). Other area landowners who have chosen to conserve their land include Oni Butterfly, Dan & Marsha O'Connell, Lou & Sandi Vallario, Bill & Bobbie Rowe, Jim & Kathy Toomer, and Dow & Kathy Rippy. Thanks all!
Left: Aerial photo of Pat & Rosemary Patterson's Grandview Ranch in Divide Creek, with Singletree Ranch and Daley-Meyers Ranch also visible.
Above Left and Right: The scenic pastures of the O'Connell Ranch in Dry Hollow occupy their own valley. Daniel and Marsha O'Connell have now donated two conservation easements on this property.
Below: 447 acres of the expansive Rowe Ranch in Divide Creek have been conserved so far by Bill and Bobbie Rowe.
The 231-acre Seven Star easement on Brush Creek near Snowmass Village was preserved in 2004. The Milvenan family sold the property to Pitkin County, while donating an easement across it to AVLT in order to ensure its permanent preservation. Great Outdoors Colorado helped provide funding for the purchase. This land is part of a critical elk migration corridor that has been increasingly threatened by development. Seven Star also protects a scenic viewshed along Brush Creek Road that has been cherished for years by residents and visitors alike.
Ginny Parker and her family have owned Happy Day Ranch in Emma for 52 years. In 2004, Ginny donated a conservation easement on 25 acres of wildlife habitat to AVLT, while simultaneously donating a public trail easement that accesses the "Crown" to Pitkin County Open Space and Trails. Ginny has preserved this land in honor of her daughter, the late Nancy Parker West.
Redstone Coke Ovens and Chair Mountain.
In the scenic and historic town of Redstone, Ted Eck and Heidi Wilson, Jim and Linda Lester, and Ray and Vicki LaLone have preserved a 65-acre corridor along the West Elks Scenic Byway surrounding the Redstone Coke Ovens. AVLT helped preserve the 14-acre Coke Ovens parcel this year in conjunction with Pitkin County, the Redstone Historic Society, and the Colorado Historical Society, creating over 80 acres of total conserved lands at the entrance to Redstone.
Maci and Mike Berkeley have preserved 117-acre so far of this wetland and agricultural land in Spring Valley near Glenwood Springs. Part of Rivendell Ranch, the property was formerly part of platted subdivision that would have drastically changed the character of this rural area.
The Colorado River Preserve protects 288 acres of river and riparian habitat preserved near Rifle.
Lyle Reeder placed an easement on Ten acres in the upper Hunter Creek Valley on Little Cheif Mining Claim before selling it to Pitkin County, who will continue to manage the land as public open space. Little Chief is accessible to trail users, and offers commanding views of Van Horn Park and the Maroon Bells.
At the base of Mt. Sopris hovering over Carbondale, Richard and Debbie Jelinek preserved over 1,400 acres in partnership with AVLT and Pitkin County Open Space and Trails on their stunning Crystal Island Ranch between 1998 and 2005.
The 186-acre Crawford Family easement north of El Jebel protects agricultural land, wetlands, and critical wildlife habitat in a beautiful nook of the mid-Roaring Fork Valley.
This beautiful 80-acre conservation easement is one of the few private in-holdings in the White River National Forest in the Thompson Creek area near Carbondale. A family homestead nestled among aspen forests and wetland meadows, this ranch is being conserved by long-time valley ranchers Jack and Ardeen Arbaney.
Stormking Hunting Ranch consists of 126 acres on Storm King Mountain west of Glenwood. It is home to critical elk habitat and stunning views of Storm King Mountain, and was preserved this year by Fred Ingelhart, Mark Sills, and the late Jackie Sills.
More to Come! Please bear with us as we add more pictures and stories from past conservation projects.