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Conservation Colorado Education Fund

CCEF is a grassroots organization focused on educating & mobilizing people to protect Colorado's air, land, water, and people. Donations received through Colorado Gives Day support the Becca Strelitz Internship Program & general operations for programs like voter registration and Latino organizing.

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Water

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Families
General Public
General Public/Unspecified
Outdoor Recreationists
At-Risk Populations

Description

Water lies at the core of Colorado's economy, lifestyle, and identity. We need water for a productive agricultural economy, to support our growing cities, and sustain our natural environment. It's the lifeblood of our rivers and streams that support a diversity of fish, wildlife, and ecosystems which, in turn, draw visitors to our state. But our water supply and resources have been compromised by competing demands, a changing climate, population growth, overuse, and outdated management plans. Unless we learn how to better manage and conserve our resources and to do more with less, we're facing a water crisis.

Water is more of our most precious natural resources and is critical to Colorado's environment, economy and identity. Every day there are increasing pressures on our water resources from a growing population to the impacts of climate change, a variable that is difficult to predict and plan around. What we can control are the demands we put on this resource - conservation is the easiest, quickest and cheapest way we have to alleviate some of the pressures we put on water. But advancing conservation takes coordination, collaboration and commitment. Help Conservation Colorado be an active and engaged voice in the debate to increase conservation and improve our water management in Colorado.

Conservation Colorado Education Fund Education Fund works with state agencies and decision makers, state legislature, federal government, local providers, and various stakeholders and partner groups to ensure that in the face of growing demands and challenges, the health of our rivers and riparian areas are paramount.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In 2018, we worked with legislators and coalition partners to pass legislation to allow for recycled water to be used in residential properties. In 2016, we were instrumental in getting rain barrels legalized by working across party lines and reaching a compromise. We also worked with coalition partners in creating the Colorado Water Plan. This Water Plan allows for intelligent use, conservation, and improvements to our current infrastructure to ensure that Coloradans can enjoy our rivers and their good health for years to come.

Energy and Climate

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Families
General Public
General Public/Unspecified

Description

Colorado, the nation, and the world are facing the dire reality that climate change and air pollution are having real and devastating impacts on our world that will only increase if we do not take aggressive action to change the way we produce and use energy-for transportation, our built environment, and to manufacture, use and dispose of our "stuff." Following years of prolonged drought and catastrophic forest fires, the state experienced epic flooding and unpredictable snowfall; Coloradans are eyewitnesses to the very real impacts of climate change. Essential actions we can take now include maximizing conservation and energy efficiency efforts and moving toward a future powered by renewable energy such as solar and wind and potentially other carbon free fuels. In the meantime, we also need to address what role, if any, fossil fuel energy sources will play in our energy mix and minimize their impacts wherever possible.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Colorado has made significant progress towards expanding renewables. However outside special interests, such as Americans for Prosperity, who attempted to derail a rural Renewable Energy Standard (RES) bill in 2013, continue to try to undermine this progress. Over the last two years, CCEF and our partners have successfully fought off repeated attempts to rollback Colorado's RES-the second highest in the nation-and weaken efficiency requirements for electric utilities. In addition, we've supported adoption of the EPA rule limiting carbon emissions from new power plants and helped secure new policies to spur adoption of electric vehicles. CCEF also did extensive outreach and organizing in support of Colorado's new air quality rules that will significantly reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from the gas fields.

Wilderness and Public Lands

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Families
General Public
General Public/Unspecified
Outdoor Recreationists
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

Colorado is blessed with some of the most iconic public lands in the nation - the Maroon Bells near Aspen, Weminuche in Southwest Colorado, and the Collegiate Peaks in the Arkansas valley to name just a few. All of these areas are permanently protected under the Wilderness Act of 1964 but many other stunning landscapes across the state remain unprotected.

In an effort to secure permanent protection for lands containing critical wildlife habitat, important water resources, and a plethora of outdoor recreation opportunities, Conservation Colorado Education Fund is actively working to ensure these vital resources are here for future generations. By building coalitions that inclde residents to business owners to members of our congressional delegation,CCEF demonstrates broad support from a diversity of stakeholders who all recognize the important role public lands play in our state's outdoor heritage.

Wilderness designations are only one way we can protect our public lands, depending on the use, values and needs of local communities. National Conservation Areas, National Monuments, National Parks, and Special Recreation Areas are a few of the other tools available to protect our public lands and the ways we use them. Participating in regional planning efforts by our land management agencies, engaging in stakeholder discussions with local coalitions, and working with our federal representatives to introduce strong protections for our public lands are a few ways that Conservation Colorado Education Fund works to protect our wild places. Since the passage of The Wilderness Act to the passing of last year's Colorado Public Lands Day we know that none of this would be possible without citizen involvement. Like all of our work, our success in protecting these places relies on engaged and passionate citizens.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In 2016, we were the first state in the national to declare a state-specific Public Lands Day. On the third Saturday of May in 2017 and from then on, we will celebrate the beauty, adventure, and livelihood many of our public lands provide.

On February 19, 2015, President Obama designated Browns Canyon National Monument, protecting over 20,000 acres surrounding the Arkansas River in Central Colorado for generations to come. Conservation Colorado Education Fund and other coalition members worked for years to protect the stunning lands, wildlife, gold medal fishing and internationally-acclaimed whitewater rafting of Browns Canyon.

On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed into law permanent protections for the Hermosa Creek watershed, putting the final touches on a six-year, community-led process to protect beautiful open spaces just north of Durango. The Act ultimately protected 108,000 acres of land surrounding Hermosa Creek, including nearly 38,000 acres of new wilderness, which means that these lands will provide critical habitat to wildlife and stunning recreational opportunities to residents for years to come.

In September 2014, a decade of litigation was settled successfully, granting a reprieve to the Roan Plateau from natural gas drilling that was poised to spoil the elk herds, genetically pure Colorado cutthroat trout and gentle aspen glades that one finds atop this wild island in the sky of Western Colorado. Conservation Colorado Education Fund and our partners in this campaign are now turning to making sure the BLM adopts conservation measures and honors the settlement agreement in an upcoming land use plan for the plateau.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.