Eight years ago, I took a phone call from the Crowthers to go look at this 145-acre ranch on the Conejos River. We hadn't done much work on the Conejos River yet, and when I went down to this secluded property and saw the stream nestled up against the San Luis Hills, I was just in awe. It was fall, and the colors were turning on the willows, cottonwoods, and grasses that had been left tall. I felt like I was in a different world. Even though a conservation easement didn't make sense at that time, I never forgot that day or place.
Fortunately that same landowner check back in again about the possibility of protecting his ranch. This time, with the generous funding of Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and the LOR Foundation, we were able to turn that idea into a reality. This month we signed all of the conservation easement papers ensuring that this incredible place will remain special forever.
Thanks to everyone, especially the patient landowners, who worked so hard over many years to make this project happen. The Conejos River continues to be a focus for RiGHT. We are proud that this is the second conservation easement we've completed on the Conejos in the last five months, and we have another on the way this spring!
- Nancy Butler