After five years of negotiation, the Central Colorado Conservancy (CCC) has closed on an easement of 598 acres of newly protected lands with the Arrowpoint Cattle Company, which is owned and operated by two sisters in Chaffee County.
This active cattle operation, adjacent to the Arkansas River, practices managed grazing to improve soil health, while also irrigating hay and pasture lands and producing beef for local restaurants. Arrowpoint is located within a priority viewshed identified in the Chaffee County Heritage Area & Collegiate Peaks Scenic and Historic Byway Management Plan and is ranked as a high priority for conservation within this plan.
Arrowpoint Ranch dominates the bench above the Arkansas River, adjacent to the Browns Canyon National Monument and the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area. Protection of the Arrowpoint Ranch will provide a scenic and ecological buffer next to the Monument, the 6,614-acre Browns Canyon Wilderness Study Area, and the Arkansas River.
The conservation easement also protects working lands, wildlife habitat, and scenic views from the Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway and Browns Canyon National Monument. Conservation easements can take a long time, and this was no exception. This success comes after five years of working towards a final agreement.
“Everyone knows how hot the real estate market is in Chaffee County right now. I am so grateful that this family chose to conserve their land, rather than sell to somebody else for fast cash,” said project lead Lucy Waldo.
CCC thanks their donors on this project including Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Chaffee Common Ground.
Additional details about the project include:
- Current Uses: Agricultural land, beef production, irrigated hay and pasture
- Conservation Values: Conservation of the property protects wildlife habitat and scenic views from the Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway and Browns Canyon National Monument, in addition to preserving productive agricultural land. The property is adjacent to the Arkansas River. Wildlife on the property includes elk, antelope, Lewis woodpecker, birds of prey and small mammals.
- Additional wildlife information: Arrowpoint Ranch also provides habitat for numerous wildlife species, including elk, mule deer, pronghorn, bobcat, and mountain lion. Arrowpoint Ranch serves a natural corridor for wildlife, moving down Gas Creek to the Arkansas River. Two pairs of the imperiled Lewis’ Woodpecker have been documented nesting in old-growth cottonwood trees on the property for several years.
- Future Uses and Reserved Rights: Agricultural activities will continue on the property. Water rights are tied to the land. Three building envelopes are permitted, one including the existing structures.
- Funding: This is a funded project that was included in the Heart of the Arkansas application funded by GOCO. Additional funders are Chaffee Common Ground and USDA NRCS.