1% Permanently Protecting Land
It’s always nice to hear from a 1% for the Planet approved non-profit that the money donated to them has done some tangible good. That’s why we were very pleased to hear from Christine at Colorado Open Lands. Christine praises both the people she’s been able to work with and help, and the 1% for the Planet businesses that allow Colorado Open Lands to do what they do best: protect land.
Colorado Open Lands helps families achieve their dream of permanently protecting land. Since they were founded 30 years ago they’ve protected over 250,000 acres of ranch and farmlands, wildlife habitat, river corridors, and scenic views in 39 counties around the state of Colorado.
So far Colorado Open Lands has received nearly $15,000 from The Color People, a 1% for the Planet business member. Colorado Open Lands chooses to devote these resources to projects that focus on protecting land with permanent conservation easements.
One such project was the protection of the 3,796-acre Prewitt Ranch in Washington County, Colorado. Located 100 miles east of Denver, the ranch features a combination of sand hill grasslands, irrigated crop land, sub-irrigated meadows, wetlands and ponds, while supporting a thriving cattle operation – Cardinal Charolais – and a wide-array of wildlife.
Pat Gebauer and Luan August, owners of Prewitt Ranch, reflect on their legacy. “Luan and I are proud of the fact that we operate a profitable cattle operation, while providing and improving habitat for game and non-game wildlife. Some people believe that these are mutually exclusive management goals, but we, and many other farmers and ranchers, are proof that this just isn’t the case. Truth is, without farms and ranches, we wouldn’t have a bounty of food or wildlife. Our conservation easement allows us to preserve both.”
The Prewitt Ranch also controls more than two miles of the shoreline of Prewitt Reservoir, which is leased to the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife as Prewitt Reservoir State Wildlife Area. White pelicans drift across the reservoir while the leaves of 70-foot tall cottonwoods whisper overhead on the ranch’s shoreline. The State Wildlife Area provides year-round fishing, hunting and recreational access.
Tom Kroening, Area Wildlife Manager for the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, “The permanent protection of the Prewitt Ranch ensures that wildlife will have access to habitat on both private and public land here, which is a long-term benefit to recreational users. The conservation easement also benefits the local economy by maintaining the agricultural land base.”