Trust Our Land: Eagle Valley Land Trust earns national recognition |

Trust Our Land: Eagle Valley Land Trust earns national recognition

Bergen Tjossem
Eagle Valley Land Trust
There's no better time to enjoy the sunshine on Miller Ranch and other local open spaces. Don't forget your stewardship ethic — stay out of the mud, respect closures, and give wildlife (and each other) plenty of space.
Special to the Daily

One thing that unites our nation through thick and thin is land: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Land is the foundation of our local economy — it’s our open spaces, world-renowned vistas, diverse wildlife habitats, and opportunities for outdoor recreation. In times like these, our local open spaces provide our community with places to enjoy sunshine, nature’s diverse benefits, and an opportunity to unplug and relax. 

Since 1982, the Eagle Valley Land Trust’s mission has been to protect land for the people and wildlife of Eagle County. It’s a simple goal achieved through a complex process that requires professional attention to detail and discipline. EVLT has officially renewed its land trust accreditation — proving once again that, as part of a network of over 400 accredited land trusts across the nation, it is committed to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in its conservation work.

“Eagle Valley Land Trust has an ongoing commitment to the people of Eagle County to continue the conservation and good stewardship of the special places we love. Making it through the rigorous accreditation renewal process makes us a stronger organization and shows our commitment to the public, landowners, and our other partners in conservation,” said Jessica Foulis, EVLT’s executive director.  

Eagle Valley Land Trust provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded renewed accreditation, signifying its confidence in EVLT to protect land forever. Accredited land trusts nationwide now steward almost 20 million acres — the size of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island combined. 

EVLT permanently protects over 11,200 acres across 36 properties in the county, including Miller Ranch Open Space, Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space, West Avon Preserve, East Vail Waterfall, and the Minturn Boneyard Open Space. EVLT is currently working with The Conservation Fund to protect Sweetwater Lake for our community.

“It is exciting to recognize Eagle Valley Land Trust’s continued commitment to national standards by renewing this national mark of distinction,” said Melissa Kalvestrand, executive director of the commission. “Donors and partners can trust the more than 400 accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”

As we move forward through this difficult time together, we hope that you are able to spend some time in nature on the protected open spaces that you helped make possible. 

Bergen Tjossem is the Eagle Valley Land Trust’s deputy director. He can be reached at For more information about the Eagle Valley Land Trust’s conservation work, visit The Eagle Valley Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Edwards, Colorado.

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