Zook Farm Conservation Easement

Zook Farm Conservation Easement

42.48 acres donated October 20, 2011.

Water rights encumbered.

Conservation Values protected:

  • Agricultural Open Space: The landowner uses the property for grazing cattle and horses and harvesting hay. Previous owners used the property for growing oars and barley in the early 1900’s. In the 1920’s, the property was the center of high altitude lettuce production. Granby head lettuce was well known across the country. The northwestern area of Colorado was considered the lettuce capital of the United States in the early 1900’s and the Great Divide Head Lettuce Colony was a major part of this economy. Lettuce production in Grand County began to decline in the 1940’s due to competition from other areas of the country where lettuce could be grown at a lower cost.
  • Scenic Open Space: This property is directly north of another conservation easement held by Colorado Headwaters Land Trust, making 159.5 acres of protected area. The property is very scenic and open among the surrounding mountains and valleys: Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, continental divide, Vasquez Peak Wilderness, Byers Peak Wilderness, Never Summer Wilderness, and the Arapaho National Forest.
  • Wildlife Habitat: the property has important conservation values as relatively natural habitat for wildlife due to the open space values of the property, the surrounding rural private farm and ranch land and conservation easement properties, and the nearby public lands. Colorado Parks and Wildlife list the property as overall elk range, and there is an elk winter concentration less than one half mile north of the property. The property is also overall range for black bear and mountain lion. The property is overall range for moose, as well as moose summer range; there is an area of moose concentration three miles east of the property and moose winter range exists four miles east of the property.