Success Stories - Land and Water Conservation
Read more news about MALT's work here.
MALT is proud of the thousands of acres we have been able to conserve with the partnership of our landowners to save scenic vistas, natural areas, wildlife habitat, water resources, working ranches and historic lands. We all benefit from private voluntary land agreements! A 2017 analysis from Colorado State University found that each dollar invested by the state for these (conservation) easements produced benefits of between $4 and $12 for Coloradans. Public benefits include clean water and air, scenic views, access to things produced by local farms and ranches products, and wildlife habitat: all things that contribute to a high quality of life in the state. Read more.
MALT Announces the Conservation of 210 Acres in Jefferson County!
December 30, 2020
Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) is pleased to announce the completion of a Conservation Easement on 210 acres in the Kerr Gulch area of Evergreen in Jefferson County. The Conservation Easement is part of the privately-held historic Ralston Ranch and connects to a 40-acre parcel that is also conserved by MALT, creating a 250-acre area of wildlife habitat with limited development. The voluntary land agreement has been designed to prioritize the preservation of scenic views while clustering the building areas to minimize the impact on wildlife. A prominent ridge runs along the north-south axis on the property, a popular path for deer, elk and other local wildlife. In addition, the property contains several acres of wetland habitat in Kerr Gulch that are now permanently protected from future development.
Jeanne Beaudry, MALT’s Executive Director, shared her excitement for this Conservation Easement, stating: “We are grateful to the landowners for this amazing opportunity to conserve a parcel of land this size along the Front Range. The landowners have a strong stewardship ethic and have spent many years improving and protecting the health of this property for the benefit of the local wildlife and the community."
MALT Announces the Conservation of 207 Acres in Park County!
December 29, 2020
MALT is pleased to announce the completion of a Conservation Easement on 207 acres in the Tarryall region of Park County. This Conservation Easement, located just a few miles northwest of Lake George, was generously donated by the Hendershot family that has owned the ranch for several generations. Located within the ranch is the historic ruins of Hayman, a town established in the 1859 Pikes Peak Gold Rush that housed miners set on finding gold and later copper. Once the major gold and copper mines were played out, the town attempted to transition to cattle ranching. By the 1930’s, Hayman was deserted - only a single cabin foundation remains of the once thriving town. The Hendershot Family Ranch is surrounded on three sides by the Pike National Forest and provides excellent wildlife habitat along with scenic views for those recreating on nearby public lands. A majority of the property is a thriving grassland habitat fed by springs and seasonal creeks. Higher up on the slopes are healthy Ponderosa pine and Colorado spruce forests that are estimated to have been undisturbed for over a century.
MALT Land and Water Conservation Director, Dylan Sondermann, says: “MALT is grateful to the Hendershot family for their generous donation to conservation efforts. Protection of this historic ranch will create a greenway for wildlife to cross between adjacent public lands and prevent further fragmentation of critical habitats.”
MALT Announces a Conservation Easement in Boulder County
December 17, 2020
MALT is excited to announce the completion of a Conservation Easement along Sunshine Canyon Drive in Boulder County. This Conservation Easement, generously donated by neighboring landowners Bruce Correll and Scott Garen of Sunshine Pointe Conservation LLC, represents MALT’s first Conservation Easement project in Boulder County. Although small in acreage, this Conservation Easement will protect scenic views deemed critical by Boulder County by preventing the future construction of two large homes. The property is on the flanks of Bighorn Mountain Natural Landmark and is within the Sunshine Canyon View Protection Corridor, both of which are considered priority protection areas in the county. In addition, the property protects natural habitat for many wildlife species, most notably protecting nesting sites for the avian rock wren which are frequently observed on the property and are designated a Boulder County Wildlife Species of Special Concern.
Dylan Sondermann, MALT Land and Water Conservation Specialist, says about the project: “The Sunshine Point Conservation Easement is a perfect example of why a property does not need to be thousands of acres to have value for conservation. This Conservation Easement protects critical habitat for an identified species of concern as well as scenic views that the county deems to be valuable. MALT is grateful to the landowners for this fantastic contribution to conservation!”
MALT Announces the Conservation of 71 Acres!
November 23, 2020
MALT is pleased to announce the completion of a Conservation Easement on the 71-acre Sacramento Creek Ranch located near Fairplay within MALT’s Red Hill to Hoosier Pass Priority Area!
The Conservation Easement on Sacramento Creek Ranch will prevent the future subdivision of the property and protect critical open space and wildlife habitat for Elk, Moose, Black bear, Beaver and numerous other species that call this area home. The Colorado Natural Heritage Program has identified this region as having “Very High Biodiversity Significance." In addition to critical biodiversity protection, the Conservation Easement specifically ensures use of the property for public recreation, education and research purposes. If you are interested in visiting Sacramento Creek Ranch or learning more about the public uses, please send an email to [email protected] or call the MALT office at (303) 679-0950.
The closing of the Sacramento Creek Ranch Conservation Easement is the second property to be protected as part of Phase 1 of the Sacramento Creek Project. In total, the first phase of the Sacramento Creek Project will protect 187 acres of the Sacramento Creek Valley and create a wildlife corridor from the peaks of the Mosquito Range to the Middle Fork of the South Platte River. The protected wildlife corridor also protects beautiful scenic views for both residents and visitors to the area. Phase 1 of the Sacramento Creek Project was graciously supported by the Park County Land and Water Trust Fund, a county program established in 1998 that “uses revenues derived from a 1% sales tax to preserve, protect, acquire, lease, improve and cover maintenance of water rights, water systems/structures, open space, and wildlife and outdoor recreation resources.”
MALT has partnered with Colorado Open Lands who will hold the Conservation Easement.
MALT Announces the Conservation of 6 Acres
August 13, 2020
Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) is pleased to announce the completion of a Conservation Easement on the Blanco and Ference property. The six-acre parcel is located a short drive from Fairplay within MALT's Red Hill to Hoosier Pass Priority Area. This voluntary land conservation agreement is an important step within a larger community-led effort to protect open space and critical wildlife habitat in an area of extreme high biodiversity. MALT is currently working to complete Conservation Easements on an additional 180 acres of adjacent lands. These adjacent Conservation Easements will complete Phase 1 of the Sacramento Creek Project in 2020.
The Blanco and Ference property provides a critical connecting link so that these conserved lands will provide a protected wildlife corridor from the peaks of the Mosquito Range in the Pike National Forest to the Middle Fork of the South Platte River. Moose, elk, black bear and deer are frequently spotted on the property. Partial funding was made possible through a grant from the Park County Land and Water Trust Fund. When completed, Phase 1 of the Sacramento Creek Project will permanently protect a wildlife corridor stretching from the peaks of the Pike National Forest in the background to the Middle Fork of the South Platte River in the foreground. The Blanco and Ference Property is located at the edge of the forested area above the open meadows.
MALT Executive Director Jeanne Beaudry said, "This property is the beginning of a multi-phase project that will link several conserved properties together. We couldn't be happier to complete this initial project. We are grateful to Jean Blanco and Jack Ference for taking this step!"
MALT Announces the Conservation of 154 Acres
December 12, 2019
MALT is excited to announce the closing of a 154-acre Conservation Easement on the Elk Meadow Ranch at Mt. Evans! The property is located within the historic Evans Ranch in MALT's Upper Bear Creek Priority Area. Vance Creek runs through a majority of this scenic property providing for excellent wildlife habitat and a healthy forest ecosystem. Appropriately named, the Elk Meadow Ranch is home to a large herd of elk as well as black bears, mountain lions, deer and a multitude of other wildlife. Elk Meadow Ranch is adjacent to protected lands including the Mount Evans State Wildlife Area and a number of private voluntary land agreements.
MALT Executive Director Jeanne Beaudry said, "To be a part of conserving the last remaining parcel at the base of Mt. Evans, one that is so critically important, has been an honor for Mountain Area Land Trust. This Conservation Easement ensures a legacy for Dave Nelson and his family."
MALT Announces the Conservation of 41 Acres!
September 3, 2019 - Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) is pleased to announce the closing of a Conservation Easement on 41 acres located near Kittredge, Colorado.
The 41-acre property was initially donated to Mountain Area Land Trust by Robert Meade in 2017. The placement of a Conservation Easement on this property will forever protect the scenic ridgeline, open meadows and forested wildlife habitat that Mr. Meade worked so hard to preserve. With a Conservation Easement limiting future development a select site, 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 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.
MALT Announces the Conservation of 216 Acres!
December 21, 2017 - Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) is pleased to announce the closing of a Conservation Easement on two parcels with the same landowner: 196 acres Park County, east of Hartsel and 20 acres in El Paso County. The properties contain grasslands and ponderosa pine woodlands that provide food, shelter, breeding grounds, and migration corridors for numerous wildlife species. Serving as summer range for elk, mule deer, and pronghorn, both parcels are also summer concentration areas for black bear.
The Park County 196 acre parcel is mapped by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program as potential breeding habitat for mountain plover, a near threatened species that is most in danger of extinction without significant conservation action. Protection of this land provides a habitat bridge between Pike National Forest to the east and James Mark Jones State Wildlife Area to the west.
MALT Announces the Conservation of 485 Acres in Park County!
December 21, 2017 - Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) is pleased to announce the closing of a Conservation Easement on 485 acres in Park County off Highway 285 near the town of Jefferson. A tributary to Michigan Creek and an extremely rich and rare fen are dominant features of the ranch landscape. Fens are peat-forming wetlands and are created when wetland plants die creating mats of dead and decaying plant matter. For this reason fens support a diverse plant and animal community. In southern Colorado, it takes about 2,000 years to accumulate 8 inches of peat at a fen, suggesting that most fens are 4,000 to 10,000 years old. (Source: USDA Forest Service - Rocky Mountain Region)
Restricting future development on the property ensures the iconic views of the mountains to the west. The property is also an important wildlife corridor for pronghorn and elk herds. Recent observations by the landowner and neighbors have documented approximately 800 head of elk grazing the property in the winter and early spring. In addition, the ranch supports moose, bear, mountain lion, mule deer, and wild turkey, all of which prefer large areas with low levels of human occupation.
MALT Receives Largest Gift in Organization’s History
December 14, 2017 - For the first time in Mountain Area Land Trust’s (MALT) 25 year history, a parcel of land has been donated to the organization. Local Evergreen resident, Bob Meade has donated his property located near Kittredge that he and his late wife Mereth have owned since 1980.
“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.”
MALT Announces the Conservation of 236 Acres in Park County!
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,
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 of 112 Acres in Park County
Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) is pleased to announce the closing of a Conservation Easement on 112 acres near Pennsylvania Mountain in Park County, one of MALT’s priority areas. The Middle Fork of the South Platte River is a dominant feature of the property, which in addition to providing habitat for large wildlife, serves as habitat for species such as brown trout and beaver. The property is in close proximity to the Pike National Forest and contributes to the open space character of Park County and to the scenic nature of the local rural landscape. The 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 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 44 acres in Clear Creek County
Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) has closed on a Conservation Easement on a stunning 44 acre property in East Clear Creek County. The property has sweeping views of Mount Evans and includes Upper Bear Creek river frontage. It provides an important habitat for mule deer, black bear and elk and based on the property's geological features it also offers quality mountain lion and bobcat habitat. This Conservation Easement will ensure that the property's wildlife habitat, water resources and scenic vistas will be conserved forever.
MALT Announces the Conservation of 80 acres in Teller County
Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) is pleased to announce closing on a Conservation Easement on an 80 acre property just outside of Divide, in Teller County. Conserving this private property connects the surrounding Pike National Forest to maintain a valuable wildlife corridor. The property features a large pond, several springs, and wooded hillsides, making for excellent wildlife habitat. Moose, elk, mountain lions and eagles have all been spotted on the property. There are also remnants of an 1850's homestead on the property that will be protected by the Conservation Easement.
MALT Announces the Conservation of 71 Acres near Bailey, CO
Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) has closed on a Conservation Easement on a beautiful 71 acre property near Bailey. The property has breathtaking mountain and river views and includes a half-mile of river frontage on the North Fork of the South Platte River. This Conservation Easement will ensure that the property's wildlife habitat and scenic vistas will be conserved forever. The property was formerly owned by the Denver Wheel Club, a bicycling club, in the early 1900s. The club used the property as a retreat and held bike races in the meadow near the river. In the mid-1900s, the property was used as a church summer camp. The current owners have owned the property since 1994. MALT has been working with these owners for several years and is grateful for their determination to see this through to completion.
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 254 Acres in Park County
This outstanding historic ranch property on Hwy 285, on the North Fork of the South Platte River is a familiar scenic vista. The Long Meadow Ranch now has a Conservation Easement on its 254 acres which include important water resources, migration corridors, nesting habitat and prime fish habitat. The ranch has been in working operation under the current ownership since the 1920s. It is also likely that ranch operations have been ongoing since the early 1880s. With the Conservation Easement in place, the property will continue to provide critical wildlife habitat and be an important corridor for wildlife movement.
MALT Announces the Conservation of 43 Acres in
Mountain Area Land Trust announce
s the conservation of 43 acres of land in Jefferson County. MALT's newest Conservation Easement is another jewel of a property and conserves an outstanding meadow and several other natural plant communities and wildlife habitats.
The property was homesteaded in the late 1800s and up until the 1950s was a working farm raising cattle, turkeys and potatoes. Historically, the land was part of the Chatfield Turkey Farm which raised and processed turkeys onsite. Today the property provides 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.