From The Mountain Mail (J. D. Thomas):
The Great Outdoors Colorado board announced Thursday that it has approved a $175,000 grant for the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas to purchase a conservation easement.
“We applied for the grant and it was certified by GOCO,” said Andrew Mackie, executive director of Land trust of the Upper Arkansas. “Now it’s all about closing on the Boxcar Ranch property, which could take a few months.”
The property was highly rated by GOCO, Mackie said. “The land was the highest rated property ranked by GOCO,” Mackie said. “It’s right on the Arkansas River, it has frontage access to the river, and the habitat is riparian. There is also year-round bighorn sheep activity on the land.”
The property also has active agriculture and water rights attached. “That is a big deal here in Colorado,” Mackie said. “On top of all that, the land is surrounded on three sides by public land, some of which is used quite often for recreational activities.”
The $175,000 grant was the final piece of the puzzle for the Land Trust’s attempt to purchase the property. “We had funding lined up before the grant with donations from National Scenic Byway, the Gates Family Foundation, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society, Chaffee County and the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas,” Mackie said. “The owner of the property also donated part of the land as well.”
“The property has a lot of potential, and this was supported by the high rating from GOCO,” Mackie said. “The conservation value alone is why the property was ranked No. 1. The water and agriculture rights helped too.”
Mackie expects the Land Trust to close on the property by mid-2014.
More conservation easement coverage here.