Conservation: Ann and Mike Luark named ‘Conservationists of the Year’ by the Eagle County Conservation District

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From the Eagle Valley Enterprise (Mike Lederhause):

This year, the Eagle County Conservation District recognized Mike and Ann for their continued stewardship of their ranch. The ranch is highly visible from the Colorado River Road and the first glance reveals the level, well-cared-for fields of alfalfa, which border the Colorado River, and the neat appearance of the ranch. The Luarks have planted varieties that produce exceptionally well on their ranch along with taking steps to maximize the efficient use and conservation of their irrigation water. They have installed a combination of pivot sprinkler and gated pipe irrigation to irrigate their land. Doing so reduces the runoff and silting of the river and the overall amount of water needed to grow a crop. To improve the riparian area along the river, they first installed livestock troughs, then installed more than 6,000 feet of fence to keep cattle off the river bank. This year they will be planting more than 150 trees along the river. Mike and Ann also manage a large colony of honey bees that pollinate almonds in California, fruit in the Palisade area and the various crops in Eagle and Routt Counties, and complete the cycle of life for the various plants. The excess honey and wax is recovered and sold locally.

More Colorado River basin coverage here.

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