Mission & History

It is the mission of Colorado Headwaters Land Trust to preserve and steward open lands within the headwaters of the Colorado River for vistas, wildlife, agriculture, and water, in partnership with landowners and for the benefit of all.

Blue Ridge Ranch Conservation Easement, photo by Susan O. Herpel

The land trust was incorporated in 1995 as a Colorado non-profit corporation and is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. The land trust was established in 1995 as the Grand County Land Conservancy. The name was changed to Middle Park Land Trust in 2000 to avoid confusion that the land trust was a Grand County government entity, and then in April 2013 the Board of Directors unanimously voted to change the name to Colorado Headwaters Land Trust.

This name, Colorado Headwaters Land Trust, more appropriately reflects our mission, our geographic focus, and the fact that the headwaters of the Colorado River — including many of its headwaters tributaries such as the Fraser River — is located in Grand County. From its headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park in Grand County, the Upper Colorado River is struggling to retain its valuable natural attributes: critical cold-water aquatic habitat, wetlands, vital water rights, working ranches, scenic open space, and world class rafting and fly fishing.

Colorado Headwaters Land Trust is the only local land trust servicing Grand County. CHLT is a Colorado-certified land trust and is nationally accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

The land trust’s primary land protection tool is the conservation easement, a voluntary binding legal document between the landowner and the land trust that identifies the conservation values that qualify a property and permanently protects those values by restricting development, subdivision and other non-compatible uses.

Colorado Headwaters Land Trust currently holds 65 conservation easements on 9,185 acres.

2016 TV18 Interview with Board President Cray Healy and Interim Executive Director Anna Drexler-Dreis: