2010 year granted
Conservation Values Protected
- Agricultural Open Space: The property has an agricultural history dating back to the early 1900s; it has been used for cultivating hay and/or as pasture for livestock for more than a century. Currently the landowner has an agreement with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to limit grazing on the property.
- Scenic Open Space: This scenic meadow property, with the Fraser River flowing through it, is seen from US Highway 40 to the west, County Road 83 to the north, and County Road 8304 to the east. This property neighbors two other CHLT conservation easements and one other easement held by Grand County, creating nearly 600 acres of protected land in the Fraser River Valley. The property is within a larger landscape that includes the Continental Divide, the Vasquez Peak Wilderness Area, Byers Peak, and open views of the Fraser River Valley.
- Wetlands and River Corridor: The primary conservation value of this property is the Fraser River and its associated riparian corridor and high-quality wetlands. Although the flow of the Fraser River has substantially decreased from upstream withdrawals by Denver Water, the Fraser River is a critical water source in Grand County and has been declared by American Rivers as one of America’s most endangered rivers. The river corridor is vital to the Fraser Valley, carrying water from high elevations to downstream habitats and communities. The riparian wetlands protect the river by absorbing flood flows, capturing sediment and processing nutrients, and then releasing shallow groundwater back to the river during low flows. The river corridor has historically been subject to overgrazing, which reduced wildlife values and threatened water quality. Recent efforts along the river, including this easement donor’s efforts to enhance fishery habitat and limit grazing to a sustainable cycle, are having positive effects on the river corridor. The landowners have participated in three river and riparian wetland improvement projects; this conservation easement is part of the third project where the landowner partnered with Rendezvous Colorado and Grand Environmental Services in a wetland enhancement project.
- Wildlife Habitat: This property provides habitat for deer, elk, bobcat, red fox, coyote, snowshoe hare and mountain lion. The Fraser River flows through the property, providing important habitat for fish and diverse waterfowl species.