Denver Post Op-Ed: Conservation tax credit program too critical not to fix

Rob Bleiberg, Executive Director of Mesa Land Trust since 1996, penned an eloquent opinion column published in the Denver Post on Colorado's conservation easement tax credit program. 

Rob's long history in this community gives him a powerful voice to our community's issues. Rob has served on the CCLT board of directors, the Conservation Easement Oversight Commission, and the Colorado Board of Real Estate Appraisers. Thank you, Rob, for sharing your unique perspective

This Colorado legislative session, CCLT is working with our conservation partners to effect positive change for the conservation easement tax credit program. I look forward to sharing more details as the session unfolds. 

Photo courtesy of John Fielder.

Photo courtesy of John Fielder.

via Denver Post
By ROB BLEIBERG |
January 28, 2017 at 5:00 pm

Maxine Aubert spent her honeymoon as the camp cook for the family sheep ranching operation atop Pinyon Mesa, southwest of Grand Junction. In the following decades, she returned each summer with her husband, Auggie, a crew of relatives and hired help. Children soon joined the mix, and later grandchildren. Summers with her family among aspen forests and wildflower-filled meadows were an annual ritual that Maxine repeated for 52 years.

Perched on the rim of Unaweep Canyon, the Aubert Ranch is a strategically located wildlife mecca. It provides critical habitat for deer, mountain lions and bears, and is a migration corridor for one of Colorado’s premiere elk herds.

After her husband passed away, Maxine became determined to conserve the place that held so many memories. Because of its incredible wildlife and scenic values, my organization, the Mesa Land Trust, was delighted to help.

Colorado’s conservation easement tax credit offered the perfect tool to make Maxine’s dream a reality. In 2006, Maxine donated a conservation easement, safeguarding a family legacy and protecting a remarkable piece of state.

Unfortunately, problems in the state’s management of the conservation easement program may make success stories like this less common.

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