Community Agriculture Alliance: Good news in the neighborhood
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
The Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust has kicked off a busy summer of conservation. Operating under its newly formed Yampa Valley Conservation Partnership Program, the land trust has successfully conserved two local Routt County ranches in June. Both projects positively impact the unique scenery, productive agricultural lands and critical wildlife habitat that define the Yampa and Elk River valleys.
Mountain View Ranch — CONSERVED
A deep-rooted passion for agriculture and a dedication to land led Krista Monger and Justin Warren to pursue a conservation easement with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust permanently protecting a portion of their ranch in the Elk River Valley and ensuring the land will always remain open and available for food production.
Participants in 2019’s inaugural SBT GRVL race will instantly recognize this idyllic stretch of Routt County, as all three race courses passed by the Mountain View Ranch. The area’s outstanding scenery and proximity to world-class recreational opportunities made the ranch highly vulnerable to residential development.
Development of the Mountain View Ranch would have come at a high societal cost, including the loss of a scenic landscape and fragmentation of critical wildlife habitat for big game, greater sandhill cranes, Columbian sharp-tailed grouse and bald eagles. Thanks to the Monger/Warren family’s dedication to seeing this land permanently protected, it will remain intact for current and future generations to enjoy.
The Mountain View Ranch conservation project was made possible by Routt County’s Purchase of Development Rights — PDR — program, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Upper Yampa River Habitat Partnership program, The Nature Conservancy and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Starbuck Ranch — CONSERVED
The Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust partnered with the Clyncke family, the Routt County PDR program and the Upper Yampa River Habitat Partnership program to see the Starbuck Ranch conservation project through to completion.
The Starbuck Ranch is known by both Routt County locals and summer visitors. The ranch sits along Routt County Road 7, a public access route to the Routt National Forest and to popular destinations like the Yamcolo and Stillwater Reservoirs, Bear Lake and Flat Tops Wilderness Area. Within 3.5 miles of the Starbuck Ranch, more than 5,000 acres of private land has already been conserved, making conservation of the Starbuck Ranch a vital component to completing landscape scale conservation in the area. This conservation project supports agricultural production in Routt County and ensures that the Yampa Valley will continue to attract residents and tourists alike who hope to enjoy its scenic, recreational and cultural opportunities for years to come.
The Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust conserves Colorado’s western heritage and working landscapes for the benefit of future generations. To learn more about the land trust and the Yampa Valley Conservation Partnership visit ccalt.org.
Jayne Thompson is director of external relations for the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust.
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