Eagle Valley Land Trust and Eagle County Announce Successful Completion of Local Public Access Projects
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jason Denhart
970-748-7654 | email@example.com
Four New Publically Accessible Conservation Easements
EAGLE COUNTY, CO -- Local conservationists at the Eagle Valley Land Trust and Eagle County’s Open Space Department announced today the addition of four new publically accessible conservation easements located in Homestead and Lake Creek. The conservation of this new publicly accessible land is the culmination of a year-long project led by the County and Eagle Valley Land Trust to save land for the people of our community and provide front door access points from local neighborhoods into the great outdoors. This successful project saves these lands from further subdivision development and conserves 322 acres in the mid-valley region that are now available to the public for passive recreation opportunities.
The centerpiece of this conservation effort is a 166 acre parcel that has come to be known as the “Homestead L” due to its shape. The “L” parcel was already master planned for up to 150-homes when Eagle County purchased it in September 2011. Eagle County and the Eagle Valley Land Trust then began work on a conservation easement to separate the development rights from the land and permanently preserve the property as a publicly accessible recreation area for our community.
This alone was a big achievement for local land conservation, but the Land Trust and citizen conservationists thought they could go further. Two private homeowners associations – Homestead and Creamery Ranch – own land adjacent to the “L” which was designated as open space. During the process to conserve the “L”, the Eagle Valley Land Trust also secured commitments to put these private parcels of land into conservation easement along with the “L”, which created the momentous conservation victory announced today. “This really demonstrates how much more powerful an outcome can be when you have collaboration between public and private entities.” said Kara Heide, Executive Director of the Land Trust. As a result of these efforts, three additional conservation easements and over 156 acres were permanently saved along with the original 166 acres of the “L”. Now, any person can walk from Highway 6 into these lands south of Edwards on trails located on publicly accessible conservation easements with 322 acres that are protected forever. Public use will be restricted to designated trails on the Homestead and Creamery Ranch properties, while on-trail and other uses will be permitted on the “L”.
The Eagle Valley Land Trust and Eagle County Open Space worked with several community partners to permanently conserve and protect this property. Eagle County purchased the “L” with $3.25 million of dedicated open space funds. The project partners included the Land Trust, Eagle County, Edwards Metropolitan District, Creamery Ranch Homeowners Association, Homestead Homeowners Association and numerous individual investors from the surrounding neighborhoods. “Preservation of these 322 acres at such a phenomenal price is something we never thought would be possible. But the really unique aspect is this acquisition provides useable open space and trail connectivity all the way from the Eagle River Preserve to the 2-2-2 US Forest Service ridgeline. Edwards has been excited to be a participant in this great accomplishment.” said Todd Williams, President of Edwards Metropolitan District.
Your local land trust continues to focus on land conservation efforts in the Lake Creek Valley to preserve the area in its natural state. his recently completed effort to permanently protect the Homestead “L” and the surrounding private property is part of the Land Trusts’ “We Like Lake Creek!” campaign. “The interconnectivity of these parcels really sets this project apart from other conservation efforts.” noted Jason Denhart, Director of Development and Communications for Eagle Valley Land Trust. “Our goal is to create a mosaic of conservation in the Lake Creek Valley, and these four new conservation easements represent the front door access for this overall effort. These 322 newly conserved acres will now join the 1,015 acres previously conserved as wilderness buffers and wildlife habitat in Lake Creek.”
A community event and ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate this local conservation victory will occur later this summer. For more information about this specific project or any of the land conservation efforts organized by the Eagle Valley Land Trust, please contact Jason Denhart at 970-748-7654 or www.evlt.org.
About the Eagle Valley Land Trust
Eagle Valley Land Trust (EVLT) was founded in 1981 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit environmental conservation organization. EVLT is a state certified and nationally accredited public land trust. The mission of your local Land Trust is to protect forever our scenic vistas, open spaces, historic lands, waterways and wildlife habitats that represent the uniqueness of Eagle County, Colorado for the education, enjoyment and benefit of people who experience this special place. Your local land trust currently holds 23 parcels and 6,500 acres of protected lands under conservation easements in Eagle County, Colorado. These properties stretch from East Vail to the entrance of Glenwood Canyon and from Tennessee Pass near Leadville to Yarmony Mountain near the Routt County border. The EVLT has also participated in the conservation of nearly 4,000 more acres in partnerships with other land trusts. EVLT serves as the steward and the guardian of the land. Your local land trust is entrusted by our community and mandated by our government to inspect, monitor and defend conserved lands to ensure they remain protected, open and unspoiled for the benefit of all residents and visitors to our mountain community. The Eagle Valley Land Trust – preserving the character of our community one acre at a time.