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Another Conservation Success in Grand County for CHLT
Colorado Headwaters Land Trust (CHLT) announces a new conservation easement donated by Roy N. Enter, on the edge of Arapahoe National Forest, west of Kremmling.

Kremmling, CO – Colorado Headwaters Land Trust (CHLT) announced in late May that they acquired a beautiful 82-acre conservation easement bordering the Arapahoe National Forest, west of Kremmling. The project was paid for in large part by an Open Lands, Rivers, and Trails Fund (OLRT) grant by Grand County.

Roy N. Enter, the owner of the forested property, donated the easement to protect the scenic spaces and wildlife habitats of western Grand County. The property is also covered by a Colorado State Forest Service Forest Legacy Program , which classifies it as agricultural land and protects it against non-forest uses. It also borders several large ranches as well, further contributing to its conservation value of open space.

There is a variety of species of wildlife that roam throughout Grand County, and the less developed parts of the county, like the western side, is home to many of them, including black bear, elk, lynx, moose, mountain lion, mule deer, garter snake, and wild turkey. The Enter property is located between water sources, and is with both seasonal and year-round ranges for many of the migratory species.

“We are thrilled to kick off the summer of 2019 with the Enter Easement,” said Jeremy D. Krones, CHLT’s Executive Director. “We are very thankful to the Open Lands, Rivers, and Trails Advisory Committee and the Grand County Board of County Commissioners for providing such great support for this project, and to Mr. Enter for his conservation ethic and dedication to this county.”
Related Rules & Laws
You might be hearing about different pieces of legislation and rules coming from both DC and Denver that relate to the various tax benefits one can receive from conservation easements. Below are summaries of the main bills and decisions we've watched this year. We welcome your engagement on issues related to such benefits, as they can pertain not only to conservation in Colorado, but across the nation.
COLORADO: Conservation Easement Tax Credit Modifications
(HB 19-1264)

House Bill 19-1264 was signed into law by Governor Polis on June 03, in Salida, CO. The ceremony was a culmination of an exhaustive multi-year process to extend critical regulatory components of Colorado's innovative conservation easement tax credit program.

The bill passed with bipartisan support: 30-5 in the Senate and 50-14 in the House. The three main highlights of the bill are that it:

  1. extends critical oversight mechanisms of the tax credit program for 7 years;
  2. increases the tax credit cap per transaction up to $5 million; and
  3. creates a working group process to evaluate three issues and make recommendations back to the legislature for consideration in 2020. The three issues the working group will evaluate are alternative valuation, orphaned easements, and relief for landowners impacted by appraisal overvaluation.

To read a larger summary, visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb19-1264
FEDERAL: Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act
(S. 170 / HR 1992)

This proposed act works to remove the incentives that allow bad actors (mainly in the form of tax shelters) to receive heaps of charitable tax benefits in exchange for conservation easements. While the tax deductions will still be available for interested parties across the country, this act will put into place barriers for tax shelters to take advantage of these benefits. Between 2010 and 2016, over $20 billion in unwarranted charitable deductions were claimed by these bad actors, not only costing taxpayers but also putting a black mark on the conservation movement.

If passed, this legislation will prevent abuse while ensuring the vast majority of conservation easements can continue to go forward as truly charitable endeavors. The act will disallow charitable deductions only when a profit is made in a short time from the donation of a conservation easement; it is narrowly focused and includes an exception for family partnerships.

FEDERAL: Contributions in Exchange for State or Local Tax Credits

This IRS rule reduces federal tax benefits for easement donors by the amount of any conservation easement state tax credit they receive. This is not applicable is the state tax credit received is less than or equal to 15% of the taxpayer's payment, or 15% of the fair market value of the property transferred.

This rule will come into effect August 12, 2019, and is retroactively applicable to transactions dating after August 27, 2018.

History On Horseback with GCHA & CHLT
Thursday, July 11 | 8:00am - 2:00pm

Email shanna@grandcountyhistory.org for more info & tickets
JOIN US FOR A GRAND AFTERNOON:
Follow Us on Social Media
We are active on Instagram and Facebook (and some on Twitter).
Here are some of our posts from June:
June 26 : The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the rivers are flowing: get out there and enjoy the bounty of beautiful nature and open spaces we have in Grand County! Conservation and land protection means keeping close to nature's heart - by appreciating the vistas, free-flowing water ways, migrating animals, and historical significance of our landscapes, easement grantors and adopters embrace what we have and endure it exists forever. That's what our responsibility is at the land trust: to exist in perpetuity. John Muir knew it, and said it so eloquently.
June 20 : And there's fire on the mountain and lightning in the air! How much do you love Grand County sunsets? After a storm, the absolute beauty of our landscape really shows itself. The more protected open space there is, the more chances we have to witness such vibrant colors. The land trust protects these open spaces for many reasons: sunsets can be high on that list.
June 17 : We had a great time marching in the Kremmling Days Parade on Saturday! A good group carried our banner and handed out candy and flyers for our annual event in July to residents and visitors in Kremmling. We hold 64 easements throughout the county, totalling over 8,900 acres, with over a dozen being in the western part of the county around Kremmling and the Muddy Creek area. We are so thankful for the conservation efforts of our local ranchers, farmers, and landowners in the region.
June 13 : People move to and visit Grand County for a reason, and it's the same reason people have been coming here for generations: this view. The Continental Divide, the sunsets, the wide open spaces. It's our job at the land trust to make sure that reason exists, now and in perpetuity. What is your favorite view in the county?
June 12 : It's June! Between the blooming flowers in the meadows and the birds and beasts making homes for their new offspring in the forests, it is certainly summer in Grand County. These meadows and forests are - or can be - protected from development, so that the plants and animals we love so much can continue their June-time rituals year after year after year. Conservation easements are one of the most effective ways to protect these landscapes, and such easements is the name of our game.
See you on the land!
June 05 : Happy World Envrionment Day from all of us at CHLT! The day was created to raise awareness of environmental issues plaguing the world, and we are are doing our own part in Grand County by conserving land and water resources at the headwaters of a vital and valuable river for the western US and northern Mexico. We greatly appreciate the natural resources and beauty found in Grand County and beyond, and find them to be central components of our lives.
Shop Our Conservation Partners!

Support local land conservation by shopping our Conservation Partners. Our partners believe in the mission of the land trust and that open space enriches our quality of life, protects landscapes, and brings visitors and residents to Grand County. Protecting open space is an investment in our environment, our culture and our economy.
Are you interested in becoming a Conservation Partner with no cost to your business? Click here for more information!
PO Box 1938, Granby CO. 80446 - (970) 887-1177
info@coloradoheadwaterslandtrust.org
www.cohlt.org