Stewardship and Monitoring


We are grateful to all our landowners who protect the conservation, natural, and/or agricultural values of their properties. Federal and state tax benefits, as well as state tax credits that might be made possible through the donation of an easement also require the land trust to make an annual visit to the property to ensure the conservation values are intact, no matter who owns the property, now or in the future.

Annual Visits

Legacy Land Trust pre-arranges the annual visit with the owner for a mutually convenient time for the stewardship representative to tour and review the property. Owners are encouraged to participate and evaluate whether their management plan is effective or if changes could be made to enhance the land’s condition. It is a great time to review previous years’ history and answer questions to preserve the easement integrity.


Legacy Land Trust also hosts a volunteer monitoring program to involve members and friends with natural resource knowledge in the monitoring process. If you would like to learn more about this program,
contact Hannah Wilbur,

Lands Conserved by Legacy Land Trust

Conservation Partnership Projects

Every completed conservation effort has a unique story, and often more than one. Some have to do with preserving wildlife habitat, or keeping migration routes open to the wildlife that travel them; some are concerned with wanting to keep a ranch operation in the family, others focus on preserving local scenery. Many of our projects have especially meaningful narratives that deserve sharing. We want to thank all the landowners who have conserved property through Legacy Land Trust, adding to the legacy that we are creating for this community, as well as all our members and contributors who help make our services possible!

Aspens Aflame – Vannorsdel ranch

Stove Prairie Area Family Ranch. An amazing and deep history ties the Vannorsdels to this land that has been in the family since the 1930s. The property is in the Stove Prairie area, with stunning views and diverse habitats, including natural springs and ponds. Its proximity to US Forest Service land means that wild turkey, bear, deer and mountain lion are regular visitors on the property.

Owl Mountain Ranch

The newest phase brought the total acreage to 800 acres, conserved in consecutive conservation easements. The additional 320 acres features lodgepole pine and aspen forests, important elk habitat, and spectacular scenic views.

Happy High Altitude Cattle, North Park

Northpark Ranch in Jackson county. A 680 acre addition to the existing 3,310 conserved acres brings the total acreage on this agriculturally historic North Park property to 4,000 acres, with significant wildlife habitat.

Abbett Centennial Farm

This 160-acre irrigated farm along the South Platte River in Weld County southwest of Platteville has been farmed by the Abbett Family for over 100 years. It is recognized as a “Centennial Farm” by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado Historical Society and the Colorado State Fair. The Abbett Family has successfully protected not only the land but also the water used to irrigate the land with a conservation easement.

“I can leave this Earth now knowing I did what I could to keep (the farm) the way it was,” –Clyde Abbett, age 90.

Circle AD Ranch

This Redstone Canyon conservation project is part of the local history of the settling of the foothills areas west of Fort Collins. The 236 acres of exceptional wildlife habitat protected in this easement are part of what was once a larger homestead behind Horsetooth Mountain and what is now Lory State Park. The owners, Dorothy and Bob Antrim still live on the property that Dorothy traveled horseback as a child, exploring every nook and cranny available for inspection. Cattle still graze the hills and a feeling of timelessness is evident once you get on the property that not only has outstanding natural values, but incredible 360 degree views.

Stonewall Creek Ranch

Over a period of seven years, Larry and Anne Peterson worked with Legacy Land Trust, who worked with Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the City of Fort Collins, The Nature Conservancy, and the Colorado Division of Wildlife to protect almost 1,000 acres of their ranch land in the Laramie Foothills north of Fort Collins. The conservation of this ranch is part of a larger landscape project by many landowners and partners that now protects over 49,000 acres of prime ranch lands and exceptional wildlife habitat. Larry and Anne are comforted to know that no matter who owns the property in the future, it will be protected for agricultural uses and wildlife.

Tibbits Lake, Laramie Foothills

Owl Mountain Ranch

Verl and Ann Brown are providing for their son to take over the day to day ranching responsibilities of the picturesque Owl Mountain Ranch in North Park. Part of their planning includes conserving the ranch lands. In 2009, they added 320 acres of outstanding riparian and forested areas with tremendous views to the 360 acres already protected in 2008. Ranching in North Park has its challenges, but for this family, the love of it runs deep and provides them with great satisfaction.

Swanson Ranch

Since 1964, Byron and Kathryn Swanson and their children and grandchildren have enjoyed their ranch just south of Red Feather Lakes. The ranch supports horses and cattle with a year-‘round stream, several meadows and forested areas with wildlife habitat that is rich and varied. For years they wanted to see the ranch protected and were finally able to complete their dream by conserving over 480 acres in 2009. Another picturesque and valuable ranch protected near urban areas will serve our residents well into the future as well as fulfill the wishes of the landowners.

Prairie Windmill

Purcell Prairie, Weld County. Protecting this additional 310 acres of irrigated corn, alfalfa and sugar beets also helps create contiguity with other conserved parcels in the Ault/Briggsdale area as well as protecting agricultural production and mountain views. While not a family operation, the owner is interested in continuing to protect plains agriculture and has completed several conservation projects with Legacy Land Trust.

Completed in 2008

Dakota Ridge

West of Loveland along the Dakota hogback. This easement expands an existing project to protect a total of 114 acres of native grassland, upland shrubs, with a mixed ponderosa pine forest that provides public open space along a prominent scenic ridgeline. This was a cooperative project between Legacy Land Trust, the City of Loveland Open Space Program, and the developer of an adjacent housing community.

Crow Valley ranchland in Weld County

Another 1,440 acres of native grassland used for grazing and wildlife habitat have been added to 3,367 acres on this ranching property. Briggs Lake is on the property providing vital riparian habitat for migrating birds and mammals. In addition to agricultural and wildlife values, the property offers scenic and open space values.

Dryland agricultural ground, near Briggsdale, Weld County.

The project protects 480 acres consisting of two separate non-irrigated parcels in the conservation reserve program (CRP). These two parcels help to create contiguity among many conserved parcels across the Briggsdale landscape. Along with contiguity, this project protects native wildlife habitat, viewsheds and open space.

Pawnee National Grasslands vicinity, Weld County.

Another 1,200 acres near Briggsdale is protected in this project consisting of four parcels totaling 1,200 acres of cultivated winter wheat and millet. There are no reserved rights on these 1,200 acres expanding the habitat for local wildlife and migrating birds. In addition to wildlife habitat the property merits conservation for creating contiguity with the landowner’s adjacent protected parcels, the Pawnee National Grasslands, and provides visual open space and significant views.

Owl Mountain ranch, Jackson County

This property is east of Rand and part of a 2,300 acre grassland ranch. This phase of the ranch protection consists of 360 acres including grazing, riparian and mountainous habitat. Owl Mountain Ranch is a functioning ranch in an area of high conservation priority. Conservation values protected include considerable wildlife habitat, large areas of native grass for grazing, open space and scenic values with its spectacular views.

North Park ranch, Jackson County.

The 960 acres protected in this project are part of a 10,000 acre ranch of which 3,310 acres are now conserved. The property is filled with mature sagebrush habitat and natural draws, attracting wildlife. The family is committed to conserving the beautiful landscape and ranching heritage of North Park for future generations and will continue to place easements on the remaining parcels of the ranch. The land protected in this project possesses natural, scenic, agricultural, open space, aesthetic and ecological values.