CREEDE - There’s a clear feeling of awe in the eyes of Brian and Rosemary Egolf as they survey the Emerald Ranch from atop one of its 11,000 foot peaks. Colorado Open Lands, a nonprofit land trust, announced today that they have worked with the Egolf family to permanently conserve their 507-acre ranch with a conservation easement.
Rosemary shared, “we are in a new chapter in our lives with the conservation easement in place. I feel like a true steward of this land now and, more than ever, want to do the best job possible of caring for the land, the animals, the birds, the fish and all else. What a wonderful gift for us all!”
This high-alpine ranch contains a diverse landscape of aspen forest, meadows and wetlands, offering important habitat for a wealth of wildlife including elk, mule deer, moose, black bear and mountain lions. It also features more than 10 beaver ponds which support fish habitat and may even be home to lynx and river otter. This habitat is especially valuable because the ranch is surrounded by U.S. National Forest land, providing an even larger area of uninterrupted places for animals to thrive.
The ranch provides stunning views from the heavily trafficked Bachelor Loop, a 17-mile drive through the historic mining district above Creede, highlighting numerous mines and ghost towns from the 1800s. The Egolf family originally purchased more than 60 original mining claims and pieced them together to form this magnificent whole. Previous plans for the land included subdividing pieces of the property into five- and ten-acre ranchettes, but now that it’s protected with the conservation easement, the natural beauty will remain - in perpetuity - as idyllic as it is today.
“I have always thought of Emerald Ranch and its unique location in the pristine, high alpine country as the entryway to America’s greatest untouched wilderness. To preserve this land for all living things is the greatest accomplishment of my life. To that end, I owe a debt of gratitude to the wonderful people of Colorado Open Lands and their sense of purpose that made it possible,” said Brian Egolf.
About Colorado Open Lands
Colorado Open Lands is a private, nonprofit land trust that works to enhance Colorado’s quality of life by protecting its most treasured asset: open lands. Since 1981, COL has helped landowners conserve more than 500,000 acres around the state and fostered partnerships responsible for critical innovations in conservation funding, conservation easement defense and more. In 2015, COL adopted an ambitious strategic plan to help interested landowners protect a total of 800,000 acres across Colorado by 2025.