Colorado's natural, agricultural, and recreation resources provide the foundation for the state's vibrant economy. Conservation easements are a vital tool to ensure that we're protecting the very reasons why people and businesses call Colorado home.
As of 2018, conservation easements protected 2.5 million acres of working lands, wildlife habitat and open space in Colorado. That is 4% of the state's total landmass and 7% of all private lands.
Hundreds of families around Colorado make the choice to conserve their land each year, ensuring that the special places defining Colorado will continue to benefit all of us as our population grows.
75% of Coloradans consider themselves conservationists according to information provided by the Colorado College State of the Rockies Project.
The National Young Farmer's Coalition found that land access is the top challenge for both current and aspiring farmers, and was the number one reason farmers got out of the business. With agricultural real estate values more than doubling since 2004, conservation easements are a means of making land affordable for farmers by sustaining the agricultural value of the land.
Conservation easements support Colorado's economy
In Colorado, 33 million acres are farms and ranches. Conservation easements protect 1.8 million acres of agricultural land in a sector that contributes $41 billion annually to the state's economy and employs 173,000 people.
Conservation easements protect 2.5 million acres of wildlife habitat. Colorado Parks and Wildlife classifies 1.5 million of these acres as crucial, including 20% of Gunnison sage-grouse production areas. Wildlife activities account for over $5 billion annually, supporting 50,000 jobs.
All 26 of Colorado's Scenic Byways overlook conservation easements, as do 40,000 miles of recreational trails. Tourism accounts for $19.7 billion in spending and supports 165,000 jobs.