The Case for "Keep It Colorado"

Since 1965, land trusts and their partners have helped Colorado families conserve over 3 million acres of working lands, wildlife habitat and open spaces that define our state and contribute to our quality of life. This work is voluntary, collaborative, nonpartisan and local. It respects private property rights and makes a positive difference in communities across the state.

Private land conservation in Colorado has grown significantly since its inception.  In response to increased interest in, and demand for, land conservation across the state, the number of land trusts has increased from fewer than 10 in the 1980s to more than 30 today. The state’s conserved acreage has tripled since 2005 alone, thanks in large part to the creation of Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) and the state conservation easement tax credit, which together have invested over $1 billion in conservation to date. Colorado now ranks 4th in the nation for conserved private lands, behind only Maine, California and Montana.

Private land conservation preserves the best of Colorado for future generations and provides real financial benefits to the public that drive state and local economies. According to recent reports from Colorado State University, every dollar invested in conservation through GOCO and the conservation easement tax credit returns between $4 and $12 in public benefits to the people of Colorado.  And every dollar invested through Federal Farm Bill conservation programs generates $2+ of economic activity that is associated with 1,100 Colorado jobs, creates $86 million in value-added, and is particularly impactful for rural communities.

 Interest in private land conservation remains stronger than ever. Many land trusts now have waiting lists for new projects, which underscores the urgency of their work as Colorado looks to accommodate 3 million new residents in the next 30 years.

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Keep It Colorado Executive Director Opening

The Executive Director works with KIC’s board, staff/contractors, members and stakeholders to advance KIC’s mission and vision across Colorado. Reporting to KIC’s board of directors, the Executive Director is responsible for managing a full-time staff of three plus a contract lobbyist and raising funds to support KIC’s annual budget. This is full-time, exempt position with benefits.

Announcing Keep It Colorado, our new coalition

Last week, the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts (CCLT) Board of Directors and the Conservation Futures Project (CFP) Steering Committee unanimously approved a business plan for our new coalition of land trusts and their partners, which each of you helped to design this year through the CFP. This is the final step in the CFP, which will formally wind down on December 31 to make way for the public launch of our new coalition – which we’re naming Keep It Colorado – on April 1, 2019. Until then, you’ll continue to receive legislative updates from CCLT, which will remain active on your behalf throughout the session.