Colorado Open Lands launches Acequia Initiative Project
SAN LUIS - Colorado Open Lands announced continued support from The Trinchera Blanca Foundation to protect historic water rights and increase awareness of conservation across the San Luis Valley. A generous grant from The Trinchera Blanca Foundation, an affiliate of The Moore Charitable Foundation, founded by Louis Bacon in 1992, will allow Colorado Open Lands to work toward the conservation of 2,000 acres of naturally and culturally significant land and acequia water rights in the Culebra Watershed.
The protection of these important lands will promote working agriculture throughout the Culebra Basin. Dating back to the historic Spanish Land Grant, the Culebra Basin has the oldest water rights in Colorado and serves as a major wildlife corridor for the nationally protected Southwest Willow Flycatcher, Yellow Billed Cuckoo, and Sangre de Cristo elk herds. Conservation easements will ensure that the water rights can never be sold separately from the land. The LOR Foundation and Great Outdoors Colorado are also supporting this critical initiative.
“We are grateful for the support of The Trinchera Blanca Foundation to help Colorado Open Lands kick off our Acequia Initiative Project and support ongoing efforts to encourage conservation leadership,” said Judy Lopez, Colorado Open Lands Conservation project manager. “Protecting these local farms and ranches and the water that irrigates them ensures they can remain in historic agricultural production, which is essential to the future of the community.”
“Colorado Open Lands’ Acequia Initiative Project is an essential and significant effort to preserve working agriculture and the unique cultural and conservation heritage in Costilla County,” said Ann Colley, executive director and vice president of The Moore Charitable Foundation and its affiliates.
A portion of The Trinchera Blanca Foundation grant will continue support for the “Emerging Leaders Program,” an ongoing initiative to promote conservation leadership among people with business, community, conservation and philanthropic backgrounds. The funding will help encourage individuals to champion conservation in their respective fields.
The partnership between The Trinchera Blanca Foundation and Colorado Open Lands has helped complete important community projects, including:
The creation of comprehensive outreach programs to educate communities of the value of conservation and urge them to participate in conservation efforts.
Conservation Easement Acquisition in the southern San Luis Valley. To date Colorado Open Lands has completed three conservation easements, totaling about 700 acres, on acequia-irrigated lands along the Rio Culebra. This group of conservation easements have paved the way for the new and more widespread 2017 Acequia Initiative Project.
About Colorado Open Lands
Colorado Open Lands is a statewide land conservation organization dedicated to preserve open lands through private and public partnerships, innovative land conservation techniques, and strategic conservation tailored to the land it protects. All of Colorado Open Lands conservation easements share the same goal: permanent protection from the property being subdivided or developed. That means that all the treasures that come from the land remain: scenic views, fresh water, wildlife habitat, local food production, and Colorado’s heritage.
About The Trinchera Blanca Foundation
The Trinchera Blanca Foundation, the Colorado affiliate of The Moore Charitable Foundation, founded by Louis Bacon in 1992 supports organizations committed to protecting land, water and wildlife habitat in Colorado’s San Luis Valley.
The Trinchera Blanca Foundation also supports community programs dedicated to improving quality of life in the surrounding region.