Mission: Our mission is to preserve the significant open lands and diminishing natural heritage of Colorado through private and public partnerships, innovative land conservation techniques, and strategic leadership. We are responsive to local initiatives and individual landowner needs, while bringing a state-wide perspective based on our staff''s collective 90+ years of experience.
Target demographics: As one of the leading Western land conservation organizations, Colorado Open Lands serves all citizens of Colorado – ‘natives,’ newcomers and visitors alike – by enriching the quality of life in our state. Through our land conservation efforts, Colorado Open Lands enriches the quality of life in our state by: - protecting lands that buffer streams upon which the majority of wildlife species depend and consequently from which many local economies reap the benefits through hunting licenses, wildlife-watching, as well as clean drinking water; - contributing to the local agricultural economy by ensuring that agricultural lands and critical water rights remain available for productive use; - protecting scenic lands that serve as the foundation for Colorado’s tourism economy; and by - helping to ensure that Colorado continues to be a beautiful state that attracts new businesses because the quality of life is higher for employees.We also serve government entities that need assistance carrying out their open space goals and programs in their communities or priority areas. In rural communities, local municipalities often do not have the internal resources to carry out these goals, and contact Colorado Open Lands because of our reputation for assisting local governments across the state implement their open space goals.
Geographic areas served: Colorado
Programs: Colorado Open Lands’ signature program is our Community Conservation Program which develops partnerships with local governments, landowners, business people, other land trusts and funding agencies to preserve lands with interrelated conservation values in priority conservation areas.
Our Land Protection Fellowship Program provides unique, hands-on training in land conservation techniques for professionals who will become tomorrow’s conservation leaders.
Our “backbone” land conservation program is the Land Stewardship Program. This program not only ensures continued protection of the lands held by Colorado Open Lands, but also serves as a model program for the conservation community.
Lastly, through our Statewide Leadership Program, Colorado Open Lands identifies and pursues opportunities to play a leadership role in significant statewide or national issues. Most notably, Colorado Open Lands and four other state- and nationally-recognized conservation organizations have formed the Colorado Conservation Partnership. In collaboration with numerous local conservation groups around the state, the Partnership launched the Keep It Colorado initiative to protect a million acres by 2013. The Partnership has completed long-term Landscape Vision Plans for 25 priority landscapes and is putting these Plans into action. These priority landscapes have been identified as those areas of Colorado that define the state’s natural and cultural heritage and suffer the highest threat, while offering the most opportunity for conservation.
Colorado Open Lands is an accredited land trust. Accreditation means Colorado Open Lands meets national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Colorado Open Lands has demonstrated to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission its commitment to excellence. Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. These land trusts demonstrate their commitment to excellence by adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices, the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust, and meeting the accreditation requirements drawn from them. Learn More: http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/about.
I volunteered for COL for ten years (so far) after working for them for a previous ten. The staff (and board) are exceptionally committed to their mission and professional in their services to the landowners and public they serve.
I moved to Colorado 17 years ago because of its open spaces, wildlife, mountains and gorgeous scenery. I'm relieved to know that there are people dedicating their time to protect what I love most about this state! Part of what's so great about their work is that the land stays in private ownership, so the land can keep on producing valuable commodities for our local economy.
Colorado Open Lands strategically and effectively leads conservation efforts throughout the state of Colorado. As one of a handful of land trusts that work statewide, COL's diverse portfolio of projects include small acreage urban farms to the largest tracts of remote wild lands in the state. The ability to successfully complete such a wide range of projects is a testament to the organization's highly regarded and extremely effective staff. From start to finish, every project receives the utmost professional attention to the benefit of the people and landscapes of this state now and into the future.
Colorado has some of the most beautiful landscapes of anywhere in the country, and with the threat of fracking and other environmental threats, no organization is doing more to protect those landscapes than Colorado Open Lands.