By 1995, the all-volunteer organization had conserved 4,000 acres and in that year received a grant to hire the first paid staff. With a brand new executive director, we were able to open an office in downtown Palisade and begin a proactive public outreach program. We expanded our cooperative efforts in joint ventures with The Nature Conservancy, Farmer’s Home Administration, Great Outdoors Colorado and private grants.
Today the Land Trust holds over 200 conservation easements protecting over 64,000 acres in the Grand Valley, Glade Park, and Plateau Valley as well as Montrose and Delta Counties. Our protected properties include orchards, vineyards, cropland, working ranches, and important habitat for deer, elk and the Gunnison Sage Grouse.
The board has grown from five to fifteen and the office, now located in downtown Grand Junction, is home to six full-time staff members.
As the Grand Valley continues to experience development pressures, Mesa Land Trust will continue its efforts in educating the public about land preservation options, working with landowners to meet their individual needs, and maintaining stewardship of existing conservation easements.