Fall 2023 Newsletter
A Note from Lynn Caligiuri, MALT Executive Director
The past few months have flown by as Mountain Area Land Trust’s (MALT) new Executive Director! It is the honor of a lifetime to serve in this role, conserving and protecting the land, water, wildlife and the Colorado way of life that make our beautiful state so exceptional.
In 2023, MALT was fortunate to help protect 2,000 acres surrounding Mount Tom near Golden Gate Canyon State Park with multiple private landowners, our friends at Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Jefferson County Open Space, Great Outdoors Colorado and The Conservation Fund.
In June, Albert Frei and Sons gifted Floyd Hill Meadow to MALT. This 18 acre parcel is home to wildlife and is the entryway to Clear Creek County. Thanks to community support, Clear Creek’s Front Yard will be conserved and protected – forever.
Thanks to partnerships with our committed landowners, MALT is adding two additional voluntary Conservation Easement properties to its growing list of protected areas, now approaching 27,000 acres! And, 2024 is shaping up to be a busy year for conservation with at least six additional projects. MALT’s land and water conservation successes would not be possible without you.
Please save the date, June 22, 2024, for MALT’s annual land and water celebration, A Night In The Meadow, which will be held at a new beautiful location in Conifer! And watch for MALT’s year-end giving letter in your mailbox. We are grateful for your dedication, your gifts and your passion for saving the land as a legacy for the future. Wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season!
Photo Points Show Changes Over Time
The distant sound of a stream captures the attention of Jeff Jordan, MALT land steward, on a warm September day. As he follows a narrow wildlife trail up 100’ of rocky terrain, he glances at the stream and valley below looking for a specific vantage point. He needs to pinpoint an exact location, so he can record data and take photos to make sure the area is in the same natural state as the previous year. Jordan uses historical photos from prior monitoring reports and GPS tools to guide his fieldwork.
When a landowner places a voluntary Conservation Easement on their property, MALT conducts annual site visits (also known as monitoring) to ensure the terms of the conservation agreement are being upheld.
On his way to the photo point, Jordan continuously scans the landscape looking for wildlife. “I occasionally run into garter snakes, and often hear them rustling through the tall grass when I’m walking through a meadow. Still, they surprise me every time,” Jordan shares while laughing. “I’ve also seen a bear when walking through the forest, but it turned the other way when it spotted me. And I often see deer and elk.”
Jordan frequently has the opportunity to speak to and meet with landowners– some give personal tours of their property on foot or by all-terrain vehicles – while others let Jordan find his own way. “I really enjoy hearing the landowners’ personal backgrounds and stories. Some ranchers have been caring for land that has been in their family for generations, some even being ancestors to the original homesteaders of the late 1800s.”
Over a six-month period, Jordan visits nearly 100 properties spanning 27,000 acres. The terms of a Conservation Easement vary from property to property and are reviewed during the site visit. “I’m typically looking to make sure scenic and natural features of the property are preserved, to make sure no new structures or encroachments are being constructed outside of designated building envelopes, and observe and document the natural state of the forest, meadows, and riparian areas,” says Jordan.
As Jordan wraps up a monitoring visit, taking photos and recording data from multiple vantage points, he is grateful for a career that allows him to be a steward of the land. Learn more about Conservation Easements.
Creatures of the Creek
On a cool summer day in Fairplay, researcher John Bates donned his fishing waders, strapped on a backpack and large net and began his water quality survey of Sacramento Creek by collecting and examining various benthic macroinvertebrate populations.
Benthic (bottom-dwelling) macroinvertebrates are small aquatic insects such as dragonflies, stonefly larvae, snails, worms and beetles. These creatures are reliable indicators of water quality because they spend all or most of their lives in water, are easy to collect and differ in their tolerance to pollution, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Over the summer months, Bates surveyed three MALT conserved properties within Sacramento Creek to determine whether or not there was a difference in water quality. According to Bates, Benthic macroinvertebrates are often sensitive to nutrient loads, mineral contents, and climate fluctuations of their riverine habitats. Additionally, higher diversity of macroinvertebrates often correlates with cleaner and higher water quality.
Bates’ research showed MALT’s property, Sacramento Creek Ranch (SCR), contains higher and more diverse quantities of macroinvertebrates compared to other nearby properties. SCR has a large diversity of environmental structures that influence the number and types of organisms inhabiting the ecosystem including beavers and tree canopy shade coverage; all factors that contribute to SCR’s high water quality.
Bates completed this research through the Colorado State University through the Master of Conservation Leadership program. Connect with Bates on LinkedIn.
Expanding Programming in Park County
In 2019, MALT acquired the land and assets of Sacramento Creek Ranch (SCR) from Terry and Al Hershey, a beautiful 71-acre property in Fairplay that includes a house, greenhouse, barn, nature trails and beaver ponds.
MALT is pleased to announce the expansion of 2024 outreach and education programs at SCR through the launch of the Jeanne Beaudry Conservation Legacy Fellowship. This new position will allow MALT to grow its outdoor educational opportunities, while also offering a stewardship-minded individual the chance to embark on a career focused on land and water conservation, stewardship and education.
MALT is grateful to Nadja Pisula-Litoff and her family, Terry and Al Hershey and several generous anonymous supporters for funding the launch of this impactful program. We also want to congratulate MALT’s Seasonal Land Steward Jeff Jordan on becoming the first Jeanne Beaudry Conservation Legacy Fellow. Jeff will kick off the new year living and working at Sacramento Creek Ranch. Stop by to hike or snowshoe this winter and say hello!
If you would like to connect with Jeff to learn more about the Fellowship and how your group can get involved, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olympian Inspired Great Outdoors
Growing up surrounded by the beauty of the Grand Tetons and the Jackson Hole Valley had a lasting impact on Jennifer Corbet’s outlook on outdoor spaces.
As a child, Corbet loved experiencing the rugged wilderness in her backyard. “My brothers and I would run around the woods. I backpacked. I skied. I cycled. I loved being outside. At that time, Jackson Hole looked much different than it does today. Our neighbors were old homesteaders, cowboys, ranchers, and ski patrollers. Regardless of who you were, you cared about the environment…the community really was a microcosm,” she shared.
Corbet’s parents, Barry Corbet and Muffy Moore, were instrumental in instilling a passion for the outdoors. Moore encouraged Corbet to attend college out-of-state to experience an entirely different culture and region.
“I was the first female in my family to get accepted to Dartmouth College, but I ultimately decided to buck family tradition and go to Brown University (Providence, R.I.),” Corbet said. “I wanted to be a geologist; my interest in that field stemmed from taking a fantastic high school geology class.” As she dived into her studies, she changed her focus to the environment and along the way she also decided to test the waters at competitive rowing, which eventually led to competing in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea.
Read more about Corbet’s inspiring journey at Where Your Story Meets Ours…
Become a MALT Centennial Circle Member
Mountain Area Land Trust’s (MALT) Centennial Circle is a membership of monthly recurring donors. As a Centennial Circle Member, your monthly gift strengthens and sustains land, water and wildlife conservation across Colorado. Centennial Circle Memberships continue without having to renew, and you may change or stop your membership at any time.
Centennial Circle Membership Impact
- Monthly membership directly supports land, water and wildlife conservation efforts in Colorado across MALT’s 3 million+ acre service area!
- Monthly membership supports clean air and water, protects wildlife habitat and corridors, conserves and stewards landscapes, provides access to public open spaces, educates communities and so much more!
- Monthly membership makes an immediate impact on Colorado land and water conservation and leaves a legacy for future generations!
Wildcrafting Workshop (Medicinal Plants)
Are you ready to forage in your backyard for plants that can heal your aches and pains?
On Jan. 30, MALT will welcome Mary O’Brien, co-author of “Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Southern Rockies: Foothills to Alpine in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho,” to share her knowledge about wildcrafting, which is the craft of harvesting medicinal plants from the wild. During this session, guests will learn about the health benefits of native plants, how to identify plants in nature and the steps to harvest medicinal plants in Colorado’s great outdoors. You’ll even learn a new recipe or two!
Thank you to Greg Penkowsky for underwriting this event.
Did you hear?
A Night In The Meadow – Saturday, June 22, 2024
Be sure to save the date for MALT’s signature celebration and fundraiser, A Night In the Meadow, on Saturday, June 22, 2024 from 5-9 p.m. Details on an exciting new venue and tickets are coming soon. For sponsorship and silent auction opportunities, contact Ryan at email@example.com or (303) 679-0950.
MALT’s campaign to permanently conserve Floyd Hill Meadow continues! Join this generous effort with a gift, and your name will be included on a commemorative sign recognizing donors. Check out the Save Clear Creek’s Front Yard campaign and donate today!
Nationally Recognized and Accredited
MALT is pleased to announce it has achieved approval for its land trust accreditation renewal from the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission – proving once again that, as part of a network of over 450 accredited land trusts across the nation, MALT is committed to conservation excellence. Read more!
2023 Top Rated Great Nonprofit
Thanks to our fans, we are one of the first winners of a 2023 Top-Rated Award from Great Nonprofits! Read inspiring stories about us and add your own here!
Recycle Your Plastic Film at MALT
MALT is a plastic film recycle location! Be sure to drop off your plastic film Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 908 Nob Hill Rd, Suite 200, Evergreen. A special thank you to Deb Sadler, also known as the “Bag Lady,” for coordinating this effort! Check out this list of acceptable items!
Thanks to you, MALT will reach these milestones by the end of the year! Support MALT’s ongoing effort to conserve land, water, wildlife and our Colorado way of life by making a donation today!
Remember MALT this Giving Season
Colorado’s biggest days of giving are here, and MALT is counting on you to help us save land, water and wildlife! Donate online now through Dec. 5 to unlock additional incentive funds for MALT. Plus, MALT’s Board of Directors is matching every dollar received up to $25,200!
Join us for MALT’s Colorado Gives Day Happy Hour from 4:30-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the MALT office (908 Nob Hill Rd, Suite 200, Evergreen). Please RSVP to Ryan@savetheland.org.
A special thanks to Stuart Miner and Mary Hashem for sponsoring this celebration!