Community Ag Alliance: Conservation easements preserve open landscapes |

Community Ag Alliance: Conservation easements preserve open landscapes

Bryce Hinchman
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

Land conservation has forever shaped the Yampa Valley. In a refreshing contrast to many other mountain communities in Colorado, Routt County is defined by its striking natural landscapes and authentic rural character rather than by a sea of wall-to-wall development.

This didn’t happen by chance. It’s the product of a dedicated and forward-thinking local population that knows the profound impact open lands have on our culture, our sense of place and the quality of life we enjoy here.

Thanks to years of collaboration among diverse segments of our community, tens of thousands of acres of private land are now protected in Routt County. These efforts have conserved some of its most prominent open landscapes, its pristine rivers and streams, a critical mass of productive ranchland and life-sustaining wildlife habitat for current and future generations.

While ranchers and land trusts garner the most recognition for land conservation, local professionals working in a wide range of fields help bring the transactions together and interface with conservation easements on a regular basis. These people include realtors, attorneys, financial advisors and title officers, to name a few.

With such a wealth of land conservation in the Yampa Valley, it’s important that professionals here have access to information about conservation easements and fully understand the practical implications for their clients.

To this end, Yampa Valley Land Trust is collaborating with Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust and Eagle Valley Land Trust to offer continuing education workshops for legal and real estate professionals in Northwest Colorado (CE and CLE credits pending). These events represent a unique opportunity to learn more about the nuts and bolts of conservation easements in comprehensive workshops led by industry experts.

The two half-day workshops are scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12, in the Peak View Room at The Steamboat Grand, 2300 Mount Werner Circle.

The morning workshop from 9 a.m. to noon is for real estate professionals, and it will focus on conservation easements and stewardship of conserved lands and will include a panel discussion on marketing and selling conserved properties

The afternoon workshop, offered from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., is for legal professionals. Topics to be covered include conservation easements and stewardship of conserved lands and a case law update and syndication review with Melinda Beck.

To register or to learn more about these workshops, visit or contact me at

Bryce Hinchman is the conservation associate at Yampa Valley Land Trust.

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