From the Vail Daily (Scott N. Miller):
The certainty of closing came this week to two big parcels of open space along the Colorado River north of Dotsero. One — a 228-acre parcel owned by the Nottingham family — was purchased outright. The other parcel, the 1,017-acre Colorado River Ranch was protected via a contract — called a “conservation easement,” that prohibits the land owners from any future development on the land.
Those contracts come at a price — land owners essentially sell the rights to any future development.
In the case of the Colorado River Ranch, the cost of the deal was about $6 million. The cost of the deals for both parcels was shared, roughly equally, by Eagle County’s open space fund and Great Outdoors Colorado, which uses money from the sale of lottery tickets to help fund open space and parks projects…
Under the deal for the Colorado River Ranch, the water rights now owned by the ranch can never be sold or transferred. The same is true for the smaller parcel.
While the Colorado River Ranch will remain in the hands of its current owners — and will remain a working cattle ranch raising organic beef — both pieces of property have preservation contracts attached. Those contracts will be managed and enforced by Colorado Open Lands, a Denver area-based land trust.
More conservation easements coverage here.