Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust completes second phase of conservation efforts for Rio Oxbow Ranch

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From the Del Norte Prospector:

Six miles of the river flows through the wide curving oxbows that inspire the name of the spectacular Rio Oxbow Ranch. Across the broad valley, the Weminuche Wilderness rises on the far side and the views are indeed breath taking. The local Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust’s conservation efforts has now insured that this view is protected in perpetuity, with completion of the second phase of the conservation easement on the Rio Oxbow Ranch at the end of 2009. With contributions from many sources, including the ranch owners, the Lisenby Family, along with financial support from Lottery-funded Great Outdoors Colorado, The Nature Conservancy, the Rio Grande Basin Round Table and Colorado Water Conservation Board, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and the many partners that contributed matching funds, this premier conservation accomplishment was achieved…

The Rio Oxbow Ranch is one of six properties on the Rio Grande that received support from the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Legacy Grant for the Rio Grande Initiative. The $7.4 million grant to the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust was awarded in December 2007. Five of those ranches are now under easement with one left for completion in 2010, along with other river corridor properties having been protected through other GOCO and matching grant cycles as well. “As of the end of 2009, nearly 18,000 acres of river corridor ranches have been protected here in the San Luis Valley, by the collaboration between us and our various partners,” said Rio de la Vista, Co-coordinator of the Rio Grande Initiative with the land trust. “It’s a tribute to our community that people here see the value of conserving the land and water along the Rio Grande. Those ranches and all that they encompass are so important to our quality of life in the Valley.

More conservation easement coverage here and here.

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