2019 West Slope Report

 

 

Our Western Slope Community

 

 

The Current State of Colorado

Colorado is known for its scenic landscapes, thriving agriculture, and an outdoor lifestyle that brings an estimated 85.2 million tourists to the state each year. The economy of this great state benefits from the $22.3 billion tourist industry, the $40 billion agricultural industry, and a growing outdoor recreation industry that topped $62 billion in 2018.  

With an unmatched quality of life and the draw of a growing economy, it’s no wonder that Colorado ranks #7 in population growth nationwide, gaining over 700,000 people over the last nine years.
 

According to the Colorado State Demography Office, Colorado’s population could increase from 5.6 million currently, to 8.5 million by the year 2050. If these predictions are correct, the state stands to add the equivalent of another metro Denver area to our landscape, with the expected residents dispersing outside of the Denver Metro area into Ft. Collins, Greeley, Colorado Springs and the Western Slope. According to the Colorado Division of Local Affairs, the Western Slope of Colorado will witness an increase in population of approximately 67.2% over the next 35 years. 

Though growth is inevitable and can be beneficial, it is our responsibility to manage it in a way that preserves our economy, our residents, our wildlife, and our way of life. Through local land trusts and conservation efforts, our beautiful state can prepare for future growth, preserve open spaces, and maintain the land that was entrusted to us for future generations. 

 

The West Slope Conservation Partners have joined together to accomplish the following goals and
protect Colorado’s most valuable assets:

 

  •     The protection of ecosystems for fish and wildlife

  •     The preservation of land for public outdoor recreation

  •     The preservation of open space (farmland & forest land) for scenic enjoyment & continued agricultural use

 

Through collaboration with local land owners, our communities, and our partner land trust organizations, West Slope Conservation Partners is making an impact on the Western Slope of Colorado,
preserving agriculture, fresh water, recreation,
wildlife habitat and migration routes, scenic views and our economy. 

Thank you for helping preserve the Western Colorado Experience!

Through the combined efforts of West Slope Conservation Partners and local
community donors, we have been able to preserve and maintain thousands of acres
of recreational, agricultural and wildlife habitat for future generations to enjoy.
 

867

Number of conservation easements

Conservation easements guarantee lands are sustainable for future use, whether it be for agricultural, wildlife habitat, open space or recreational purposes. 

193,238

Protected Acreage

Total acres of land preserved by Western Slope Conservation Partners.

462

Miles of Rivers/Creeks and Streams

Protecting streams, creeks and rivers helps to ensure safe drinking water for all of us as well as provides important habitat for 900 species of Colorado Wildlife. 

75,971

Conserved Agricultural Acres

Nearly half of the state's 66 million acres are dedicated to Farms and ranches. 

120,037

Conserved Elk Habitat

Protecting winter and summer ranges allows continued access to food and water, migration corridors, and calving grounds that are crucial to our Colorado Elk herds and other wildlife. 

The Economic Impact of Conservation

The combined efforts of West Slope Conservation Partners, committed local donors, and dedicated land owners have resulted in the preservation of outdoor trails, recreation areas, 75,971 acres of preserved agricultural acres and the continued use of over 120,037 acres of migration habitat for elk and other wildlife. Though the economic value of conserved land and resources can be difficult to measure, a study by Colorado State University reports for every $1 invested in conservation easements, an estimated $4-$12 of public benefits are provided. In this study, public benefits were calculated by reviewing 11 ecosystem types in Colorado and measuring the economic benefits to each system. Improvements such as filtration, purification of water, protection of wildlife, irrigation projects, and soil retention are some examples of measurable ecosystem improvements.

2019 West Slope Conservation Partners