Eagle County closes deal on Ridgway Ranch
Eagle County finalized the purchase of a 131-acre Ridgway parcel, an inholding of the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space, on Wednesday. The parcel contains outstanding wildlife habitat and adds to important migration corridors for the county’s dwindling deer and elk populations, as well as an increased opportunity for dispersed recreation and sustainable agriculture.
The former owners of the property prioritized protecting the land as open space, as well as its continued agricultural use. Eagle County granted a conservation easement to Eagle Valley Land Trust to ensure its conservation values are protected in perpetuity. The acquired land will be incorporated into the management of the 1,540-acre Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space, which was permanently conserved in 2017.
“Ridgway Ranch is the heart of the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space,” said EVLT Executive Director Jessica Foulis in a relase. “Protecting this parcel for our community and wildlife is the realization of a conservation vision that has been in the works for decades.”
Eagle County purchased the property using dedicated Open Space funds reauthorized by residents in 2018, along with significant funding support from Great Outdoors Colorado, the Eagle Ranch Wildlife Committee, the town of Eagle, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Habitat Partnership Program.
“Working with partner organizations whose priorities align with ours to secure support and funding for large scale projects like the Ridgway acquisition is integral to successful conservation efforts in Eagle County,” said Eagle County Open Space Director Katherine King. “We are so grateful for their ongoing support.”
GOCO invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. GOCO’s independent governing board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 5,200 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support.
To learn more about Eagle County Open Space programs and projects visit https://www.eaglecounty.us/openspace/ or follow the program on social media @ECopenspace. To get involved with the Eagle Valley Land Trust, visit http://www.evlt.org or follow them on social media @eaglevalleylandtrust.