Impact Story 6: The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust: First Conservation Easement on the Upper Conejos

Posted April 6, 2017

The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) is the only local land trust that serves the entire San Luis Valley. For ten years, The Trinchera Blanca Foundation, an affiliate of Louis Bacon’s Moore Charitable Foundation has partnered with RiGHT as it has protected over 21,000 acres of working ranches and farms, water resources, wildlife habitat, and scenic landscapes.
Rainbow Trout Ranch - conserved by Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust.
Rainbow Trout Ranch - conserved by Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust thanks to commitments of a motivated community of funders.
In 2016, our partnership combined with the support of a motivated community of donors resulted in the acquisition of the Rainbow Trout Ranch. As part of RiGHT’s Rio Grande Initiative to protect the land and water along the Rio Grande and Conejos Rivers and the feature of a "Save The Ranch" campaign in 2014, the Rainbow Trout Ranch is the first conservation easement on the upper reaches of the Conejos. Conservation of this historic guest ranch also protects the history of western recreation and the cultural importance of a natural playground that generations of guests have enjoyed and will continue to be a place for families to experience the beauty of nature far into the future. “This project exemplifies the power of partnerships,” said Katherine Brown, RiGHT’s Development Coordinator. “The support of these funders, from state and federal programs and private foundations, along with contributions from so many individuals and the [owner] Van Berkum family all came together to make this possible. We hope that everyone who drives up Forest Service Road 250 to the Platoro Reservoir or who stops at the Highway 17 overlook to take in the majestic view of the Conejos Canyon will appreciate the spectacular landscape that will remain open and connected through this conservation project.” Learn more about The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust.