Success Stories - Land and Water Conservation
MALT Announces the Conservation of 404 Acres!
December 20, 2018 - Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) is pleased to announce the closing of a Conservation Easement on 404 acres in Jefferson County in MALT's Peak to Peak priority area.
Mt. Tom is the pinnacle of a dramatic landscape characterized by coniferous forests dominated by lodgepole pine, Ponderosa pine, and Douglas fir. For generations Mt. Tom has been known as a hotspot for ladybugs giving it the alternate name of "Ladybug Peak". The ladybugs hatch in June and July such that the ground is orange underfoot. In addition to the ladybugs, the 404-acre property provides habitat and sanctuary for numerous wildlife species including deer, elk, bear, cougar, numerous small animals, and resident and migratory birds.
The property is in an area deemed to have high biodiversity significance by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. The Conservation Easement provides additional protections to the adjacent Ralston Creek State Wildlife Area, nearby Golden Gate Canyon State Park, several Jefferson County Open Space properties, and other areas with high to very high biodiversity significance, including other Conservation Easements held by MALT.
With a Conservation Easement limiting future development to select sites, the wildlife habitat, natural plant communities and open space of the property are now protected for the benefit of current and future generations of residents and visitors, alike.
MALT Announces the Conservation of 75 Acres!
March 8, 2018 - Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) is pleased to announce the closing of a Conservation Easement on 75 acres in Jefferson County in the center of MALT's Peak to Peak priority area. The property is owned by Greg and Frances Penkowsky. Greg is a MALT Ambassador and the recipient of the 2014 Bud Simon Preservationist of the Year award.
The surrounding terrain and sweeping vistas provide a strong sense of seclusion. From the high point on the Penkowsky property many protected lands are visible, including White Ranch Park, Coal Creek Canyon Park, Golden Gate Canyon State Park and a Jefferson County held Conservation Easement.
The Conservation Easement provides additional protection for the Ralston Creek Open Space lands, safeguarding the ridgeline on the south side of Ralston Creek and protecting the viewsheds of thousands of acres of both county and state lands. Building envelopes on the property were sited to ensure the viewshed is forever preserved.
A great deal of ecological and forests restoration work has been completed on the entirety of the property as well as adjacent lands. Special attention has been given to the retention, recruitment and creation of snags for cavity nesting birds.
Several acres were identified by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program as having very high biodiversity significance, and Red Wind Flower plants (anemone multifida) that are considered uncommon are found on the Penkowsky land.
MALT Receives Largest Gift in Organization’s History
“I feel relief, and I feel a little sad. But if you can’t get out and take care of it, it’s time to pass it on. At my age, you have to give stuff away that you’re done with. It was a wonderful three and a half decades of being a forester, but I’m not a forester anymore. It’s a piece of luck to be able to give this land to MALT and turn my back and walk away – wow. There is nobody better to take care of it than MALT.” said Meade.
MALT Executive Director, Jeanne Beaudry said, “What a gift and legacy Bob has left to MALT. We are truly humbled and grateful by his generous donation. This is the largest donation that MALT has received since the organization’s founding in 1992.” As a member of MALT’s Vista Giving Circle, Bob has been planning this land donation to MALT for many years. Vista Giving Circle donors are supporters who plan on leaving a gift to MALT (either financial, land or both) in their will or estate plans.
Bob and Mereth enjoyed the property together for many years, and in 1996 when Bob retired from the United States Geological Survey, he embarked on a retirement project, taking on his first ten year forest management plan with the help and guidance of the Colorado State Foresty Service.
Fast forward to 2017, and Bob is still working on his land, having just completed his final 20 year forest management plan –or as Bob likes to call it, his “health club.” Bob lost his wife Mereth in May of 2013 but continued to work on his land sharing that it has always been a source of physical, mental and spiritual health for him.
“The way you learn to love children is to take care of them, and it’s the same with the landscape, said Meade, “You put yourself into it. I think Robert Frost said it best: The land was ours before we were the land's.”
November 30, 2017 - Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) is pleased to announce the closing of a Conservation Easement on 236 acres located 7 miles west of Bailey, Colorado, along MALT's 285 Corridor Priority Area. This property is adjacent to Highway 285 and offers stunning scenic vistas enjoyed by all who travel the 285 corridor. In addition, the property borders 254 acres which has been under Conservation Easement with MALT since 2013 creating a seamless viewscape of the Mount Evans and Lost Creek Wilderness Areas.
The North Fork of the South Platte River, a dominant feature of the landscape, flows through the lower area of the property, which the owners utilize as a recreational opportunity for guided fishing experiences for anglers. An open-canopy forest of ponderosa pine fills the majority of the property, with an understory of mountain mahogany and grassy ground cover. The placement of this 236 acres under Conservation Easement aligns with the Park County, Colorado Strategic Master Plan by supporting multiple plan elements included in both the 2001 and 2016 Plans, such as protecting the scenic quality of Park County and protecting water quality.
MALT Announces the Conservation 140 acres in Jefferson County
Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) has closed on a Conservation Easement on a 140 acre property near Centennial Cone in Jefferson County, one of MALT's priority areas. The property has sweeping views of Denver and mountain vistas including Grays and Torreys peaks and is comprised of montane forest, aspen forest and glades. An interesting historical footnote: the northwest corner of the property has a rock marker that was placed there by the Hayden Geological Survey of 1871. This Conservation Easement fulfills the landowner's desire to ensure that the property's wildlife habitat, water resources and scenic vistas will be conserved forever.
MALT Announces the Conservation of 50 Acres in Park County
MALT has closed on a Conservation Easement on a beautiful 50 acre property outside of Bailey near the Mount Evans Wilderness. The property is an entire mountaintop known affectionately by the landowners as “The Family Mountain.” The property boasts open meadows, aspen groves and a small spring, making for excellent wildlife habitat. There are also several rustic cabins on the property dating to the early 1900’s. Being on a mountaintop, there are stunning 360 degree views of the surrounding area, including the Mount Evans Wilderness. The family has owned the property for three generations and it was the family’s dream to see it conserved forever.
MALT Announces the Conservation of 80 Acres in Woodland Park
This 80 acre property is within the city limits of Woodland Park, and is bordered on the west by U.S. Forest Service land. There is an option for an environmental education center and public use with the possible future acquisition of the property by the City of Woodland Park. This Conservation Easement preserves one-half mile of Trout Creek and its riparian habitat so important for numerous species of wildlife. It also has several outstanding meadows, rocky outcroppings and natural plant communities which provide habitat for big-game species including elk, mule deer, black bear, turkey and mountain lion.
MALT Announces the Conservation of 57 Acres in Jefferson County
Our latest Conservation Easement is another outstanding property. Less than a half-mile from Conifer and Hwy 285, the Roller-Roller Conservation Easement consists of 57 acres off Pleasant Park Road and is adjoined on its southern boundary by the James Q. Newton Park. The Property's current and proposed use is for the outdoor recreation by, and the education of, the general public. Access will be provided to the public through scheduled outdoor and conservation classes offered by government entities, conservation organizations and nonprofit entities. This Conservation Easement preserves an outstanding meadow, rocky outcroppings and several other natural plant communities which provide habitat for big-game species including elk, mule deer, black bear, turkey, and mountain lion.
MALT Announces the Conservation of 87 Acres in Teller County
Mountain Area Land Trust is pleased to announce the conservation of 87 acres of land in Teller County. The property is located about 1.5 miles northwest of Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and is just south and east of the Pike National Forest.
This beautiful property, which is visible to motorists travelling along U. S. Highway 24 is adjacent to the designated "Gold Belt Tour National Scenic Byway." The property provides habitat for big-game species including elk, mule deer, black bear and mountain lion, all of which generally prefer large areas with low levels of human activity. The property also provides habitat for numerous non-game wildlife species including resident and migratory birds and small mammals. The primary conservation values of the property are wildlife habitat, relatively natural plant communities and open space.
MALT Announces the Conservation of 70 Acres in Jefferson County
Mountain Area Land Trust is pleased to announce the conservation of 70 acres of land that has been preserved on Upper Bear Creek outside of Evergreen. The property protects relatively natural habitat for mountain lion, black bear, turkey, mule deer, elk, mourning dove, dusky grouse, skunk, bobcat, fox, coyote, raccoon, porcupine, rabbit, and squirrel. In addition to wildlife habitat, the property also preserves open space and provides scenic enjoyment for all who drive along Upper Bear Creek Road and all who enjoy the natural character of the area.
MALT Announces the Conservation of 644 Acres in Park County
Mountain Area Land Trust is pleased to announce the conservation of 644 acres in Park County. The property adjoins 765 acres previously donated by the same landowner. Mountain Area Land Trust and the landowner worked together to ensure that more than 1,400 acres of land will continue to provide wonderful wide open spaces, just a few miles southeast of Fairplay.
The property is highly visible from State Highway 9, which is adjacent to the property for almost 2 miles and is an important highway corridor linking southeast Colorado to the mountain resorts in Summit County. The property is also visible from U.S. Highway 285, an important highway corridor linking the Denver region with the recreation and vacation opportunities in central Colorado.
The property contains grasslands and wetlands that provide food, shelter, breeding grounds and migration corridors for numerous wildlife species. The Property serves as important habitat for species such as elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope and numerous songbirds, amphibians and small mammals. Portions of the property have been identified as potential habitat for mountain plover, a Colorado species of special concern. The property will continue to be grazed by livestock, as it has traditionally been used, since being homesteaded in the late 1800s.