The purpose of the Colorado Study Tour was to introduce the ELCN delegates to conservation tools and techniques that are not yet widely applied in the EU and to discuss the potential of their transferability with private land conservation practitioners from the US.
The International Land Conservation Network (ILCN) organised a study trip for the partner European Private Land Conservation Network (ELCN). From Sunday, October 22 through Thursday, October 26, 2017, the ELCN members together with representatives from the ILCN and the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy went on an educational study tour of private land conservation projects around Denver, Colorado. Afterwards, the ELCN members attended the Land Trust Alliance’s annual Rally in Denver from Thursday night, October 26 through Saturday, October 28, 2017.
Over the course of the tour, the ELCN team learned more about the use of easements, particularly on working lands; farming using conservation practices; marketing environmentally friendly products; working with farmers/ranchers (and why they would want to conserve their properties); how conservation can relate to water quantity and quality challenges; partnering with public agencies; and financing conservation areas as well as legal differences between the US (Common law) and most of the European countries (Civil law).
The main pressure on agricultural land in Colorado is due to development for recreation and leisure. However, apart from selling their property to real estate developers, owners generally have a variety of options at hand, from granting conservation easements, to mortgaging, covenants, rent or lease to donation.