Conserving Colorado's western heritage and working landscapes for the benefit of future generations.
The Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) was formed in 1995 by the Colorado Cattlemen's Association (CCA) to help Colorado's ranchers and farmers protect their agricultural lands and encourage the inter-generational transfer of ranches and farms. CCA was the first state livestock association in the nation to form a land trust. Five other state livestock associations have followed suit, including Wyoming, California, Kansas, Texas, and Oregon. To date, More than 30 land trusts operate in Colorado but CCALT remains the only exclusively agricultural land trust in the state.
In the last 23 years, CCALT has partnered with landowners across Colorado to protect productive agricultural land. This work has helped agricultural families to achieve their estate planning goals, pay down debt, save for retirement, pay for long-term health care and college education, diversify and expand operations, and preserve their agricultural heritage. It has also helped to preserve the natural resources that make Colorado such a special place to live and visit.
CCALT prides itself on having a land conservation approach that fits Colorado.
• We recognize the equal importance of preserving land and allowing for economic returns for both the landowner and the community.
• All landowners who work with CCALT initiate the contact with us and the focus remains on landowners and their needs throughout the conservation easement process.
• Conservation easements support the use of other tools, such as incentives for wildlife habitat restoration, and research that will help increase the long-term viability of agriculture in Colorado.
• CCALT's Board of Directors is composed primarily of agricultural producers and members of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association, ensuring our first hand understanding of agriculture and rural communities.
In 2017, CCALT was awarded the National Land Trust Excellence Award by the Land Trust Alliance. The honor is given each year to an accredited land trust that has excelled in innovation, collaboration, communication, and initiation of broader support for land conservation. To date, CCALT is the only land trust in Colorado to receive the award.
"Every day I work the land is a tribute to my grandfather and his dreams of making a better life for his family. I always knew I would take over the ranch. As so many ranchers say, it's in my blood. Without our easement, we would have been forced to sell to developers."
-Junior Gallegos, Arboles, CO
"If ranching teaches you anything, it is the need to be flexible. In order to preserve our ranch's legacy and heritage, we needed every ounce of flexibility the conservation easement offered, and our family appreciates greatly all who helped make this preservation effort a reality."
-Art Hutchinson, Salida, CO