Estes Valley Land Trust Earns National Recognition, Thanks Estes Park Community

Estes Valley Land Trust Earns National Recognition, Thanks Estes Park Community

The Estes Valley Land Trust has been nationally recognized for its commitment to professional excellence and for conserving land in Colorado. The Estes Valley Land Trust was one of just three land trusts recognized for its third accreditation, of 1,363 land trusts across the United States.

“One thing that unites the Estes Park community is land. Since 1987, the Estes Valley Land Trust has preserved nearly 10,000 acres of land for the people and wildlife of Estes Park, Larimer and Bounder counties. We’re very proud to be nationally recognized, once again, for our work”, said Robin Harding, President, Board of Directors.

The Estes Valley Land Trust went through a rigorous 9-month process with the Land Trust Alliance (LTA), a national organization, to evaluate its business practices related to governance, financial records, recordkeeping, conservation easement drafting and other critical practices. In the end, LTA recognized the Estes Valley Land Trust as an accredited land trust without any areas for improvement. 

LTA also requested the Estes Valley Land Trust share some of their business documents, to be used as a template for other land trusts across the nation. “It was a real complement to our Finance Committee and another example of the incredible leadership the Board of Directors provides the land trust”, said Jeffrey Boring, Executive Director.

“This recognition is really a testament to all our members and they deserve a big thank you. We are a community-based organization and our members volunteer thousands of hours to help us conserve land. Without the support of the community, the Estes Valley Land Trust would not have been nationally recognized”, Boring continued.

A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process can be found at landtrustaccreditation.org.

This press release appeared in the March, 8 2019 Estes Park News

EVLT was first accredited in 2008. Read about our first accreditation here

 

YMCA of the Rockies Preserves 127 Acres Next to RMNP

YMCA of the Rockies Preserves 127 Acres Next to RMNP

YMCA of the Rockies donated a conservation easement to the Estes Valley Land Trust to preserve over 127 acres of open space within the Estes Park Center. The conservation easement prohibits most development including residential structures, industrial uses and mining, among other uses that harm open space and scenic views.

The new conservation easement preserves land along State Highway 66/Tunnel Road and the Glacier Creek boundary with Rocky Mountain National Park. “One of our enduring goals, since the Estes Valley Land Trust was formed, was to preserve the boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park”, said Jeffrey Boring, Executive Director of the Estes Valley Land Trust. “The conservation easement with the YMCA of the Rockies preserves nearly a mile of the Park boundary.”

The conservation easement also meets the YMCA of the Rockies plans for the Estes Park Center. 

“Our location is one of the very special things about YMCA of the Rockies. Protecting into perpetuity the environment, and preserving all that makes it special, is why we wanted to donate this conservation easement. Our guests can count on inspirational outdoor experiences now and into the future.”

Julie Watkins

CEO and President, YMCA of the Rockies

Watkins added that this conservation easement is contiguous with four existing conservation easements, bringing the total number of protected acres within and around the YMCA of the Rockies’ property to about 238 acres.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preserving private youth camps with a conservation easement is not new for the Estes Valley Land Trust. The land trust also holds conservation easements on The Salvation Army’s High Peak Camp and Ravencrest Chalet. The YMCA of the Rockies conservation easement balances open space preservation with outdoor recreation by limiting the location and type of recreation improvements that can occur on the eased property.

“We understand and fully support the YMCA of the Rockies’ goals to engage youth and families in an outdoor setting and we artfully built those needs into the conservation easement, without harming nature. Most of the land preserved with this conservation easement is simply open space; there will never be any visible development.”

Jeffrey Boring

Executive Director, Estes Valley Land Trust

The conservation easement permits trails, but prohibits ball fields, tennis courts and other recreational uses that damage the environment. These kinds of recreation facilities are still allowed outside the boundaries of the conservation easement.

New Conservation Easement Forged by 40-year Friendship

New Conservation Easement Forged by 40-year Friendship

 

Estes Valley Land Trust is pleased to announce that it has closed on a second newly conserved property in two weeks. The Crownover Conservation Easement, located on Jacob Road near Little Valley, has been forty years in the making.

Leo Weber, Estes Valley Land Trust Vice President, first met Norris and Judy Crownover in 1976, as a young woodworker. “Norris was gracious and shared his cabin with me,” Weber said.

“I was a young guy and had just moved to Estes Park. I was living out of a van and Norris offered to let me stay in his cabin,” recalled Weber. “I couldn’t pass up the offer.”

Now the cabin, and the forty acres on which it sits, are permanently protected with a conservation easement held by the Estes Valley Land Trust. The easement closed on December 9th.

The Crownover Conservation Easement has dramatic views into the East Fork of Fish Creek and Little Valley. Also it can be seen from prominent recreational areas, including Twin Sisters Peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park, The Crags, and Kruger Rock in Hermit Park Open Space.

 

The property is surrounded on two sides by the Arapaho/Roosevelt National Forest and is adjacent to the Cheley Camp property to the south.

 

“The fact that this new conservation easement borders the Cheley Camp and buffers them from major development activity is very exciting for us,” said Jeffrey Boring, Estes Valley Land Trust Executive Director.

 

“Cheley Camp is a fixture in Estes Park and thousands of kids over the years have fallen in love with the outdoors and Estes Park through the camp,” stated Boring. “We’re glad we can give back by helping protect their borders and ensure the camp remains in a natural setting.”

 

The Crownover Conservation Easement is located in a dramatic setting of large rock outcrops and open forests and contains an intermittent stream.

 

The property has been identified by Colorado Parks and Wildlife as providing habitat for deer, elk and bighorn sheep. The conservation easement ensures these natural features and the wildlife habitat they provide will be protected forever.

 

“It’s so nice to be able to work with Leo and donate this conservation easement to the Estes Valley Land Trust,” said Norris Crownover. “The forty acres and old cabin have been a special place for us over the years. We have lots of good memories up there and it’s good to know it’s not going to change much.”

 

Weber and Boring expressed their appreciation to the Crownovers for their commitment to preserving the beauty of the community.

EVLT Announces 2016 Summer Breakfasts

EVLT Announces 2016 Summer Breakfasts

How healthy are our forests after the pine bark beetle epidemic?  What other diseases and insects are affecting our forests?  Is it true that treatments for pine beetles can make trees susceptible to other problems?  how can I help my trees stay healthy?

morning in the Rocky Mountains near Estes Park, Colorado, USA

EAGLE ROCK CONSERVATION EASEMENT

Estes Valley Land Trust (EVLT) begins its Educational Summer Breakfast Series on Saturday, June 11th at 8 a.m. This first event is entitled “What’s Happening in Our Forests?” and features two experts who will discuss forest health and factors currently affecting our trees. It will be held outdoors on the grounds of Eagle Rock School. The public is welcome. The deadline for reservations is Monday, June 6th.

Attendees to EVLT’s Breakfast Series enjoy a delicious catered breakfast and socializing in a beautiful outdoor setting, followed by an educational program. This year’s series, themed “Woods and Water,” explores the changing dynamics of our forests, rivers and streams.

Two speakers will present at this June 11 event. Boyd Lebeda, District Forester for Colorado State Forest Service, will discuss the findings of a 2015 study investigating the current health of Colorado’s forests.  He will also address various forestry issues in Colorado.

Brian Verhulst, Forest Ecologist at Rocky Mountain National Park, will discuss undesired impacts from bark beetle treatments, including various diseases and insect infestations, that are being seen in landowners’ trees.

The location of this breakfast event, at the base of Eagle Rock, will lend a dramatic setting for the discussion on forest health. In 1993 the founder of Eagle Rock School, American Honda Education Corporation, forever preserved the natural beauty of 463 acres of the property’s open space with a conservation easement held by EVLT.

The charge for the event is $15 ($5 for K-12 students, $0 for preschoolers), payable by check or cash at the breakfast.  The delicious breakfast is served by Catering for All Occasions and includes an egg entrée, fresh fruit, pastries, juice, and hot coffee.

Reservations for the breakfast event are required no later than Monday, June 6th at 5 p.m.  You may call the Land Trust office at 970-577-6837 (you may leave a message) OR send an email to evlt@evlandtrust.org.  The first and last name of each attendee should be provided so name tags can be made in advance. Please provide an email address so you can be notified of an alternate location in case of rain. All reservations will be confirmed.

To reach the Eagle Rock School Conservation Easement from Estes Park, remember that Dry Gulch Road is closed at Highway 34. Instead, leave Estes Park traveling north on MacGregor Avenue until it reaches the entrance to MacGregor Ranch.  The road makes a sharp right as it becomes Devils Gulch Road.  Continue 3 miles. Veer right on H Bar G Road. Proceed 0.4 mile and turn right on Dry Gulch Road, passing the “road closed” sign. After 0.2 mile, turn left on Notaiah Road. (There is a sign for Eagle Rock School.) Continue on this road, following the “Land Trust” signs to the parking area for the event.

Please remember this event will be held outdoors.  Bring your own chair, a jacket, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and drinking water for personal use after breakfast.  As always, dress appropriately for unpredictable weather.

Member Spotlight: John and Sally Stevenson

Member Spotlight: John and Sally Stevenson

johnandsally

John and Sally Stevenson

We have developed this spotlight feature because we want the world to know that we have many awesome members of EVLT.   Take, for example, John and Sally Stevenson.  John and Sally have been faithful EVLT members and supporters since they moved here in 2006.  They do not own a conservation easement property, yet they are committed to EVLT’s mission.  In addition to becoming members, they also have been volunteer easement monitors since 2006, and have completed over 60 monitoring site visits and reports.  They have partied with us at least twenty times over the years, attending breakfasts and special events.

Sally and John say it “feels weird being spotlighted as a volunteer for the Land Trust, as the pleasures and benefits of volunteering are all ours!  After moving to Estes Park in 2006, we were looking for ways to become involved in the community…ways to ‘give back’ to this place where we are so fortunate to retire.  After attending an EVLT breakfast, we were impressed with the vision to “preserve” the Estes Valley for future generations and decided that we could do this!  Monitoring properties for the Land Trust allows us to visit and explore private properties that are otherwise off limits to the public.  It is a joy to get to know these owners who honor this same vision.  Attending the breakfasts and fundraisers helps us connect with others around our common interests of exploring and preserving this beautiful valley we all call home.  And yes, Land Trust parties are just plain fun!  Our thanks to the EVLT staff and Board who make all this possible.”

And our thanks to supporters like John and Sally who are helping EVLT ensure that the Estes Valley remains the beautiful place that we all love.