Local fund-raising closes on goal | VailDaily.com

Local fund-raising closes on goal

Veronica Whitney

The Eagle Valley Land Trust’s fund-raising campaign for the Bair Ranch conservation project is getting closer to its $1.3 million goal.

The local campaign to help protect the ranch’s 4,800 acres in Eagle and Garfield counties broke the $1 million mark over the weekend, said Cindy Cohagen, executive director of the land trust.

“The response has been a phenomenal success,” Cohagen said. “I anticipate more contributions, particularly if we know the county supports the project.”

The land trust still needs to raise $294,000 by May 30, Cohagen added.

The money raised for the Bair Ranch will go toward purchasing a $5 million conservation easement protecting the historic ranch at the east end of Glenwood Canyon from further development.

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Cohagen credited part of the campaign’s success to Wiegers Family Foundation, which last month pledged $50 for every contribution the Eagle Valley Land Trust receives for Bair Ranch up to 1,000 contributions.

“We have 197 checks toward the Wiegers challenge,” Cohagen said. “We get checks that are part of that challenge everyday. And the fact we have 197 gifts to the project even before Eagle County commits funds, that demonstrated the wide community support for the project.”

Another large contribution came in last weekend with a $50,000 pledge from Kelly and Sam Bronfman, land trust board members.

“The community is very excited with the idea of protecting 4,800 acres of land for future generations to enjoy. And the support is widespread,” Cohagen said. “We have 28 contributions coming from all across the country.

Several contributions from New York, California, Virginia and numerous ones from the Front Range.”

The money raised by the land trust will be added to state and federal conservation grants that already have been secured for the Bair Ranch easement. Also, the Garfield County commissioners have committed $25,000.

“I don’t have any doubts we will raise the rest of the money,” Cohagen said.

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