About Conservation Easements
A conservation easement is a voluntary, binding legal agreement between a landowner and a qualified conservation organization that identifies Conservation Values (open space, wildlife habitat, scenic landscapes) on a property and then protects those Conservation Values by restricting non-compatible uses of the property. The landowner retains 100% ownership and use of the property and keeps the right to sell or transfer ownership. Each conservation easement is unique to the property it is designed to protect. Conservation easements “run with the land” and bind the original owner and all subsequent owners to the conservation easement’s restrictions. For more information about conservation easements, click here to view our Landowner Information Packet, and feel free to contact us with questions and to discuss possibilities for the future of your land.
Conservation Benefits for the San Luis Valley Community
- Keeps working lands in agricultural production, supporting our economy and way of life.
- Preserves the scenic views and natural beauty of the San Luis Valley.
- Keeps water resources in San Luis Valley to sustain working lands, internationally important wetlands, and vital riparian habitat.
- Protects important wildlife habitat for a variety of species, from big game to migrating birds and waterfowl, to endangered and threatened species.
- Sustains our rich cultural heritage and the qualities that make the San Luis Valley special!
Our Conservation Easements
We have permanently conserved 34 working farms and ranches in Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache Counties. To date, we have protected over 21,000 acres of working ranches and farms, water resources, wildlife habitat, and scenic landscapes. These important landscapes are vital to linking wildlife corridors for various species including the federally endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. More than ten of the conservation easements are adjacent to other protected lands including the Rio Grande National Forest (and Weminuche Wilderness Area), the Rio Grande Natural Area, the Alamosa and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuges, Bureau of Land Management’s wildlife areas, Colorado State Land Board, Colorado Parks and Wildlife State Wildlife Areas, and The Nature Conservancy’s Medano-Zapata Ranch and Mishak Lakes.
The Rio Grande Initiative: RiGHT is leading a local initiative to protect the critical private lands along the Rio Grande and its major tributaries in the San Luis Valley, with over 25,000 acres protected as of 2015.
Education: RiGHT offers local educational programs to area landowners and the professionals that serve them regarding estate planning, conservation easements, water issues, and sustainable agriculture. RiGHT’s workshops have been attended by hundreds of people in our region who have benefited from low cost, expert instruction.
Conservation Collaborations: RiGHT is active with many local, regional and national groups that work collaboratively to address natural resource and conservation issues. RiGHT’s staff and Board are involved in collaborative groups and planning processes such as the Rio Grande Basin Roundtable, the Rio Grande Natural Area, the Northern San Luis Valley Conservation Roundtable, the San Luis Valley Wetlands Focus Area Committee, the San Luis Valley Great Outdoors Coalition, and others.