2020 Spring News from MALT

Columbine and yellow flowers

2020 Spring News from MALT

Message from the Executive Director

Believe. We must have hope and believe that we will survive and get through this pandemic of Covid-19.

Throughout all the recent changes in the way we interact and do business, one thing remains constant – the necessity to maintain and keep our sanity. One way for me to maintain this has always been getting outside and enjoying the natural world. So, choosing a line of work associated with conserving the outdoor places I love has always been on my radar screen.

Our work at Mountain Area Land Trust is critical for ensuring we all have adequate space where we can hike and recreate; where wildlife can thrive; where our water sources are protected and safe; where the air we breathe is fresh and pure; and where our community thrives because it recognizes and supports this quality of life.

During this time the work Land Trusts do and the benefits we bring to the community have been deemed essential and critical businesses to keep operating. So, if you, like me enjoy the outdoors and natural world please continue to support the work we do. In this way we will leave a better way of life for our children.

Stay safe and healthy during this time. Enjoy the outdoors and breathe in the fresh air each and every day. We have an amazing community, and together I believe we will get through this.
Jeanne M. Beaudry

Saving the Land with Voluntary Land Agreements

Despite all of the changes to our normal daily lives, MALT’s work to fulfill our mission of saving land and water is ongoing. While working remotely, our staff continues to engage a number of dedicated landowners that wish to permanently protect their beautiful scenic vistas, open spaces and critical wildlife habitat. Some highlights include a community-led project to protect nearly 200 acres in the Sacramento Creek Valley near Fairplay and a family partnership that aims to protect over 500 acres of wetlands and meadows near Evergreen. We have a number of active projects so stay tuned for more exciting updates!

During this time, we are also working to update our five-year Strategic Plan and our five-year Land and Water Conservation Plan. These plans guide the day to day activities of MALT and will provide the blueprint for us to move into a new decade of land and water conservation throughout our service area. We will be seeking community input as these plans are developed and encourage you to watch your inbox for your chance to participate.

While each and every day brings a new set of challenges, we are dedicated to continuing the important work of land and water conservation. Now, more than ever before, we must save our land and leave a legacy for future generations.

Poll Gauges Public Sentiment on Conservation

10th Annual Poll of Western Voters
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, MALT cancelled the March 19th presentation with pollster Lori Weigel, principal with New Bridge Strategy and MALT Board Member. This is the tenth consecutive year Colorado College has gauged the public’s sentiment on public lands and conservation issues. The bipartisan poll annually surveys the views of voters in eight Mountain West states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming).

Some highlights from the 2020 poll:

  • Pollution and climate change are deemed the most important environmental problems today. Voters from each political party even see climate change as one of their top three environmental issues.
  • Three-in-ten mention water issues when asked about the top environmental problems in their state today. Western voters believe that water supplies are becoming more unpredictable every year.
  • More than three-quarters of voters consider the loss of habitat for fish and wildlife to be a serious problem. Voters are just as concerned about the loss of pollinators as they are about the health of water sources and climate change.
Trail Expansion at Sacramento Creek Ranch

In April of 2019, MALT acquired the land and assets of the former Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center, now known as Sacramento Creek Ranch (SCR) located on Busch Run Road in Fairplay. In addition to managing the property and using the ranch as a base of operations and outreach center, MALT offers public access to local youth organizations and residents to enjoy the existing interpretive and nature trails on the property.

MALT is expanding the recreational trails on SCR through a contract with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) to extend the existing trail during the weekend of August 21 – 23, 2020. Volunteers will add over a mile of new terrain that will border the Pike National Forest and trails will continue to be open and accessible to the public and available for school groups to use for educational purposes.

The August 2020 weekend will be the fourth partnership that MALT has organized with VOC on a trail building project. VOC trail designers anticipate that at least 50 volunteers will work over a two-day period, for a total of 700 volunteer work hours! Watch the VOC website to learn more details about how to sign up for this exciting project!