Supporting Garfield County's Ranchlands, Rivers and Recreation Economy

Garfield Legacy Project 

New Site!
Make sure to check out the Ranchlands, Rivers and Recreation Econonmy Website!

Garfield Legacy Project

New Site!
Make sure to check out the Ranchlands, Rivers and Recreation Econonmy Website!

The Garfield Legacy Project (GLP) supports the campaign to Protect Our Ranchlands, Rivers and Recreation Economy by promoting the creation of an effective, funded, voluntary and non-regulatory open lands conservation program in Garfield County, Colorado.

Open Lands Program?
Gafield County has unique land conservation needs - one need is to preserve the values we have, while another is to create and enhance the amenities we enjoy. The Garfield Legacy Project has worked hard to create a program that addresses these needs. We propose an open lands program that provides multiple benefits:   

  • Protect land along rivers and creeks to protect water quality,
  • Develop compatible recreation amenities such as parks and trails,
  • Preserve water supplies,
  • Conserve wildlife habitat,
  • Protect the places we hunt and fish,
  • Provide access to public lands and trailheads,
  • Conserve working family ranches,
  • Safeguard natural areas important to our recreation economy


The program provides landowners cash in exhange for their willingness to extinguish the development rights on all or a portion of their property. In return, the landowner places a conservation easement on their property. The property remains under private ownership, and the landowner can continue to work their land as they are accustomed to. The land may be sold or transferred, but the conservation agreement remains in place. In some cases, land can be purchased outright  for recreation and trails projects.

The landowner is provided an economically attractive alternative to selling land for development through compensation for the developmental rights of their land. The compensation enables them to meet financial objectives, such as debt reduction, making capital improvements, or retirement.
The conservation agreement that results is a market-based mechanism where the landowner, open lands program and land trust mutually agree to a selling price for the development rights, which provides the landowner their financial incentive. If the landowner is not favorable to the proposal, they are under no obligation to sell their development rights, as the program is not mandatory, and does not result in the amendment or creation of regulations.

Why Open Lands? It is clear that so much of our quality of life is due to the open land resources the County harbors: aesthetic views of the bookcliffs and working lands well-stewarded by the hard-working families of the Colorado River and Roaring Fork river valleys; the area's exemplary recreation and trail systems; land along rivers and streams that clean our water and provides habitat for fish and wildlife - all of this and so much more that is at the heart of what makes Garfield County a great place to live.

We must be aware of open space in its many forms, for its many benefits. It means supporting our agricultural and ranching communities to be as competetive and fruitful as can be. It means creating and caring for recreation facilities that respect and are compatible with surrounding land uses. It means preserving and enhancing recreational and tourism opportunities to improve our economic portfolio. Open space, in all its forms, is important to Garfield County's future.

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    The Garfield Legacy Project is co-chaired by Mary Noone, Dave Devanney and Helen Andersen.

    If you are interested in learning more about GLP, contact:
    Mary Noone at (970) 309-6900
    Dave Devanney at

    Garfield Legacy Project
    P.O. Box 42
    Glenwood Springs, CO  81602

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