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On Friday, Nov. 9th, 240 individuals gathered at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds to support the work of the Central Colorado Conservancy. The night was a great success, with $57,000 being raised for land and water conservation! Our theme for the night was “Building a Bridge to the Future” focusing on bringing our communities together to support what we love about Central Colorado.

This included celebrating the successes of Envision Chaffee County, the passage of ballot issue 1A and other projects completed by the Conservancy in the last year. Overall, the Conservancy has helped protect 15,000 acres, including 22 miles of rivers and streams.

We had the opportunity to talk about upcoming projects including protecting lands along the Arkansas River in southern Lake County, a conservation easement off of Route 285 heading towards Trout Creek Pass, ranchland protection in the region, and our partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife focusing on restoration of State Wildlife Areas, especially Sands Lake.

With the help of the community we were able to raise $34,000 for these projects. Our goal for the end of the year is $40,000. There is still time to help the Conservancy reach this goal and move forward on all of these projects. Donations can be made at

The local Kelly Family was honored for their generations-long efforts in supporting conservation in the region. This includes the conservation easement on their ranch south of Buena Vista.

Nationally known writer, scholar and biologist, Robert Michael Pyle was the keynote speaker. He talked about his experiences in Colorado and read from his new novel, Magdalena Mountain.

The Central Colorado Conservancy wishes to thank our sponsors: Central Colorado Title and Escrow, High Country Bank, Pinon Real Estate Group, Powell & Murphy P.C., Barton Design, Collegiate Peaks Bank, Colorado Central Magazine, Dvorak Expeditions, First Colorado Land Office, Lewis & Glenn Funeral Home, Michael D. Scott Attorney, Peak Solar Designs, Round River Design, and Watershed. We want to thank our supporters: Terry Andrews, Denny Arter, Ira Curry, Insight Database Design and Consulting, Dixie Goldsby, HydroGeo Designs LLC, Richard Kenshalo, Land and Waters Services Inc., Kate Larkin, Dan Larkin, Svata Louda, Marquez & Herrick-Stare LLC, Tim Martin and Rod Otley.

We also want to thank all of the businesses and individuals who donated items and services to the silent auction. With their help we were able to raise just over $11,000. All of the artists who participated in “Through the Artists Eyes” art show and sale that evening showed their support for the Conservancy and we thank each of them, including: Laura Barton, Joe Beakey, Gail Franke, Thomas Franke, Fay Golson, Sue Ann Hum, Nora Larimer, Julie Maas, Lila McClellan, Beth Sanders, Judy Sprague, and Lynn Van De Water. Judy Sprague, Joe Beakey and Jeanne Herrick-Stare did a great job organizing the art show. Thanks to the Book Haven for bringing and selling Robert Michael Pyle’s books at the event.

The Annual Event Committee is responsible for putting all of this together each year. Coordinating this effort is Michael Fischer and Marsha Brown. They are supported by a wonderful team of volunteers including: Scott Bealer, Donna Childress, Kelly Collins, Lee Coveney, Carol DeStefanis, Sandy Ewald, Mike and Samar Fay, Janet Franz, Jeanne and Randy Herrick-Stare, Tom Johnson, Kate Larkin, Brad Leach, Hallie Bare Mahowald, Hayden Mellsop, Drew Peternell, Ruth Runge Barnes, Pete Scales, Dale Shoemaker, Judy Sprague, Nancy Tatge, Wendy Rombold, Dan Smith, and Cindy Williams. Also, supporting this effort is the Conservancy Staff – Julie Richardson, Buffy Lenth, Lucy Waldo, and Terri Scales.

We want to thank everyone in the community that has come together to help lay the foundation for this bridge to our future. To find out more about the Central Colorado Conservancy, visit or call 719-539-7700.

Andrew Mackie, Executive Director
Central Colorado Conservancy