To forever protect and steward open lands for vistas, recreation, wildlife and ranching, thus contributing to Gunnison County's unique heritage and quality of life.
The Crested Butte Land Trust is a community land trust focused on land conservation in Gunnison County. Formed in 1991, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is committed to "preserving the present for the future". Crested Butte Land Trust founders recognized that, unlike much of the West, the Gunnison Valley still had pristine landscapes. They saw an opportunity and obligation to preserve these landscapes for future generations.
The Crested Butte Land Trust has worked with more than 60 voluntary landowners and their families to preserve more than 6,000 acres of land and 17 miles of trails in perpetuity.
The Crested Butte Land Trust serves all Gunnison County residents and visitors, local ranchers who want to keep their land in agriculture from one generation to the next, outdoor enthusiasts who utilize trails to pursue diverse recreational opportunities and access their public lands, and business people who recognize that conservation is good for both the environment and the economy. Trails, views, clean water and air, and the rugged beauty of the Gunnison Valley play vital roles in the county's amenity and recreation-based economy.
"My kids and grandkids love the outdoors, and I wanted there to be a place for children in the future, where they could experience the wonders of nature. I protected my land to give me and my family a peace of heart. I'm so glad I did."
-Glee Biery, conservation easement granter
"When I served as mayor, I gathered information on the amount of funding brought from outside the valley to preserve our open lands. The figure was more than $50 million. The Land Trust has always been the organization the Town of Crested Butte, Trust for Public Lands and GOCO (Great Outdoors Colorado) have worked with to leverage local funding and support with outside sources to make BIG projects happen."
-Leah Williams, former mayor of Crested Butte
"Ranching in the Gunnison Valley has been one of the oldest and most stable drivers of the local economy and contributes $35-$40 million dollars annually to the valley. It provides several indirect contributions to the community. These include critical wildlife habitat, hunting and fishing opportunities, open space with undeveloped view sheds, cultural heritage, water rights that help keep water in our valley for all users, and stewardship of grazing lands both private and public."
-Curtis Allen, fourth generation rancher and conservation easement granter
"I just read your Strategic Plan and Goals a couple of times and found them very impressive and comprehensive. Living as I do in a community whose leaders value development over preservation, it makes me sad for our lost opportunities in Colorado Springs... I'm amazed at what you've accomplished in the little time I have been associated with CBLT- a very rich and personally rewarding experience."
-Bob Couchman, Crested Butte Land Trust supporter