Eagle Valley Land Trust explores realities of conservation options at landowner workshop, Jan. 20 | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley Land Trust explores realities of conservation options at landowner workshop, Jan. 20

EAGLE COUNTY — There are many misconceptions out there regarding what a conservation easement is and what it does.

"Landowners think that they lose control of their land, that they no longer own their land or that it is a government conspiracy," said Jim Daus, executive director of the Eagle Valley Land Trust.

Daus noted that landowners and managers sometimes think they have to provide recreational access to their property as part of a conservation easement. They don't, he said. Each deal is unique and can be negotiated by the property owner.

Personal Property Right

Instead of these mistaken perceptions, Daus wants landowners to view placing a conservation easement on their land as a personal property right.

"Placing an easement is totally voluntary, and it can be a tool to help raise funds," he said.

Recommended Stories For You

And, in a time when development pressures push further and further throughout the county, Daus said conservation easements can ensure ranching remains a part of the Eagle County landscape.

"It helps conserve ranching heritage by ensuring that land will remain in agricultural use into the future" Daus said. "For instance, ranchers look for land to lease, so easement can help ranching stay viable."

There are other future applications for ranch land preservation, Daus said, pointing to the locally grown food movement as one example.

"Conservation easements can provide a source for locally produced food," he said.

Hosting a workshop

On Saturday, Jan. 20, the Eagle Valley Land Trust and Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust will host a special workshop to discuss the ins and outs of conservation easements.

The session is planned from noon to 3 p.m. at Gypsum Town Hall, and a free lunch will be served.

Workshop speakers will include Tax Credit Connection and State of Colorado Division of Water Resources and landowners, managers and food and fiber producers are welcome to attend.

Topics that will be covered during the session include an overview of conservation easements, conservation easement financial and other benefits and new Colorado state water efficiency regulations.

Daus said the session is designed to provide information about options and opportunities for permanently conserving property and getting compensated for it. Attendees will gain a better understanding of how conservation honors and protects private property rights and landowner privacy, while providing landowners an opportunity to leave a legacy of conservation.

"Ultimately, our hope is to encourage landowners and managers to consider seeking conservation solutions on their properties," Daus said.

If you go …

What: Eagle Valley Land Trust and Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust will host a special workshop to discuss the ins and outs of conservation easements.

When: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20.

Where: Gypsum Town Hall.

More information: Landowners, managers and food and fiber producers are welcome to attend. To learn more or RSVP for Saturday’s session by the Friday, Jan. 19, deadline, contact Jessica at jfoulis@evlt.org or 970-748-7654.