Elkhead Valley: 617 acres put into conservation easement

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From the Steamboat Pilot & Today (Brandon Gee):

The Routt County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved spending $250,000 to help conserve more than 600 acres in West Routt County’s Elkhead Valley. The money comes from the county’s Purchase of Develop ment Rights program. The Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricul tural Land Trust will hold the conservation easement on 617 acres of the Howe Ranch on Routt County Road 56 north of Hayden…

The Howe Ranch includes irrigated hay meadows, riparian areas along Calf Creek and sage-dominated rangelands, according to a news release, which states that the ranch also provides important habitat for species including elk, deer, pronghorn, black bear, mountain lion, bobcat, fox, sandhill cranes, greater sage grouse and Columbian sharp-tail grouse…

The PDR program is funded by a 1.5-mill property tax approved in 2006, nine years after the program first was approved for a 10-year period. The 2006 renewal is good for 20 years…

To date, the PDR program has completed 24 projects protecting 14,670 acres at a cost of more than $6 million. Six more projects totaling 3,219 acres are under negotiation.

More conservation easement coverage here and here.

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