Productive lands and thriving wildlife
Colorado’s Northern Front Range Lower South Platte River comprise some of the most productive agricultural land in the state. From the foothills of the Rocky Mountains across the Great Plains to the Nebraska border, this landscape also encompasses some of the state’s most significant wildlife habitat. Water from the South Platte River system sustains a $4.5 billion a year agricultural industry, and supports critical habitat for hundreds of thousands of waterfowl each year.
Human and wildlife communities are tightly intertwined here. As the state’s population continues to grow, much of that growth is expected to occur in northern Colorado including Boulder, Larimer, Weld, Adams and Morgan counties. If innovative solutions are not found to meet water needs, farmers and ranchers who grow our nation’s food and fiber will sell their water and leave agriculture. Colorado Open Lands is working on creative approaches to meeting Colorado’s growing water demand while keeping farmers on farms – a future that supports the rural agricultural communities, families, and wildlife that depend on the South Platte River system.
In early 2016, Colorado Open Lands merged with Legacy Land Trust to ensure the continued pace, quality, and permanence of land protection in this region.