Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) is based in Evergreen, Colorado and was founded in 1992 for the purpose of land and water conservation. MALT became an accredited land trust in 2012 with the national Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Commission, and serves a 4,380 square mile service area. In addition to its work securing public and private voluntary land conservation agreements, MALT regularly seeks opportunities to collaborate with other conservation minded organizations and stakeholders to facilitate public projects and secure land purchases and acquisitions. MALT has assisted with numerous land projects that have resulted in conservation of thousands of acres of public land and trails. MALT's first public project involved the conservation of Noble Meadow in 1993 and was the organization's earliest major victory that laid the groundwork for the next 29 years of continuous land and water conservation successes.
Noble Meadow, a favorite elk grazing and calving area, has become a focal point for the mountain community and a key feature in the area's identity. The success of this initial conservation partnership has led MALT to undertake additional public projects and has served as a model for the organization's public land conservation initiatives including Blair Ranch, Beaver Brook Watershed, Bergen Nature Trail, Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area, Sacramento Creek Ranch and Floyd Hill Open Space, all located within Colorado's growing Front Range.
In addition MALT owns a 71-acre ranch and property in Fairplay, Colorado. Known as Sacramento Creek Ranch, MALT acquired acquired this parcel in the spring of 2019 and uses the property as its base of operations in Park County, and providing a location for local school and educational youth groups as well as high altitude scientific researchers.
In 2019 MALT successfully completed a $508,000 capital campaign for the purchase and renovation of a permanent office headquarters for the organization, eliminating the uncertainty of leasing and high rental costs and providing a long term appreciating and sustainable asset for MALT.
In 2021, MALT was instrumental in protecting the Douglas Mountain Ranch and Preserve, a 123-acre property located outside the Town of Empire in Clear Creek County. Through an acquisition, the property is now owned and managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) under its new name, the Pals Family State Wildlife Area. MALT facilitated every step of this project since its inception three years ago when the local community rallied in opposition to a proposed gravel mine on the Douglas Mountain Ranch and Preserve property. The gravel mine would have had negative health impacts to both people and wildlife from daily truck traffic, noise and light pollution. This conservation project provides immeasurable benefits to wildlife, as the area is home to the “Georgetown Herd” of bighorn sheep, an “indigenous herd which has been present in the area for the span of recorded history.” MALT developed a relationship with the owners of the property and began investigating potential conservation options. Working with the landowners in May 2020, MALT submitted a proposal for CPW to acquire the property under the state’s Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program. In December 2021, the sale was completed with $200,000 contributed from Clear Creek County Open Space (CCCOS); $20,000 from Friends of Clear Creek; $500,000 from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) and $2,845,621 from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.