Community Engagement: Guidelines for Excellence

The North American Association for Environmental Education shares a guidance document relevant to the Colorado land conservation community. Many land trusts and conservation groups are actively working on community conservation projects to directly impact and support their local communities.  

Community Engagement: Guidelines for Excellence. This set of guidelines focuses on community wellness and is designed to help environmental educators create inclusive environments that support effective partnerships and collaborations. Download your free copy.

Economic Analysis Shows Benefits Of Easements

The Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation organization and CCLT member, released a study in 2010 reporting that every $1 spent in Colorado protecting family farms and ranches by limiting development generates $6 in economic benefits for the state. The study, available here, was done by Jessica Sargent-Michaud, a staff economist with TPL. She analyzed the return generated by Colorado's investment in easements from 1995 to 2009.

This study was updated in 2014 by Erik Glenn, Executive Director of Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust and CCLT board member. By incorporating an additional five years of conservation successes into the dataset, he concludes Colorado receives $8 of economic benefit for every $1 of foregone revenue from conservation easement tax credits. Read the report here.

Mineral Development and Land Conservation

A Handbook for Conservation Professionals

From John Swartout's introduction (past Executive Director), revised edition 2011:

So why does the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts care about mineral and energy development? The answer is that as both stewards of the land and as Coloradoans who care about the economic growth of our state, we cannot afford not to. Colorado’s energy sector is strong and growing, and is a critical base of our economy. At the same time, land conservation organizations are working hard to double the 2 million acres of Colorado’s wildlife habitat, working farms and ranches, and scenic vistas that already have been conserved.

Voluntary conservation easements are, and will continue to be, a critical tool for conserving these irreplaceable landscapes where we live, work, and play.

The best way to reduce con icts between land conservation and mineral development is to make sure everyone operates, from the beginning, with the best possible information. The impressive team of experts who contributed to this handbook did exactly that—they compiled a state-of-the art guide that will be a well-used resource for every land conservation professional in Colorado and beyond.

With input from oil and gas and conservation attorneys, scientists, industry professionals and other conservation professionals, Mineral Development and Land Conservation: A Handbook for Conservation Professionals is a tool that will help conservation professionals evaluate new projects and inform landowners of the potential impacts of mineral development on land they are considering or have already put under conservation easement. Although the Handbook is primarily designed to address conservation easements, owners of lands in fee title will also find compelling sections on split estate issues, impacts, and surface use agreements.