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.

Your New Board Members

EVLT is very fortunate to welcome to our team four new Board members, each elected to 3-year terms, and to renew our appreciation for two returning Board members who have been elected to an additional 3-year term. Returning Directors are Art French and Charlie Johnson. Our new Directors include Gail Albers, Wanda Curry, Robin Harding, and Carly Lober. All the new and returning Board members bring depth and valuable experience to our Board, and we are pleased that they are sharing their talents and enthusiasm with us. For more information about these great people, visit “Meet Our Board and Staff.”

Estes Valley Earns Continued National Recognition

Estes Valley Earns Continued National Recognition

A celebration is underway at Estes Valley Land Trust! Your local land trust was recently awarded renewed land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. The official announcement was received on February 26th.

“This achievement demonstrates EVLT’s commitment to permanent land conservation and the rigorous accreditation renewal process,” said Mary Banken, Executive Director. “Our staff members, land owners, volunteers and Board have worked vigorously to uphold the ever-increasing high standards of the Land Trust Alliance. We are proud to achieve reaccreditation, making us a stronger organization to benefit the entire community.”

acc seal2EVLT was nationally accredited in 2008 as one of a prestigious first group of 39 to be awarded this designation. Re-accreditation in February means EVLT is among the first 16 land trusts to achieve renewal. Accredited land trusts are authorized to display a seal indicating to the public that they meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. The seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation.

Founded 27 years ago, EVLT now administers the stewardship responsibilities of 159 conservation easements (nearly 9,600 acres) in the Estes Valley and surrounding area. In spite of a September flood of epic proportions which affected many properties, EVLT completed its renewal application in December 2013. Working with over 100 volunteer monitors and numerous conservation-minded landowners, EVLT continues to engage citizen conservation leaders and improve systems for ensuring that conservation work is both permanent and beneficial.

“EVLT is an important member of the 254 accredited land trusts that protect more than half of the 20,645,165 acres currently owned in fee or protected by conservation easement held by a land trust,” said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. “Accreditation renewal, which must be completed every five years, provides the public with an assurance that accredited land trusts continue to meet exceedingly high standards for quality.”

According to the Land Trust Alliance, each land trust that achieved renewed accreditation submitted extensive documentation and underwent a rigorous review to verify that their operations continue to be effective, strategic and in accordance with strict requirements.

According to the Land Trust Alliance, over 1,700 land trusts now operate across the country to save places that people love. In addition to health and food benefits, conserving land increases property values, saves tax dollars by encouraging more efficient development, and, in the Estes Valley, draws tourists to view the scenic beauty and wildlife. Over 47 million acres of farms, forests, and parks are now protected as conserved land.

Strong, well-managed land trusts provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources, to be safeguarded through the generations. EVLT is proud to be an accredited member of the Land Trust Alliance and will work in the future to maintain the required high standards.

Please visit EVLT’s website at to learn more about our mission and share your questions and concerns. We welcome your membership and your participation in accomplishing our goals.