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Conservation Agreement Protects 80,000 Acres

Forbes, Inc. and Colorado Open Lands announced today that Forbes Trinchera, Inc., a subsidiary of Forbes, Inc., has donated a conservation easement over the Forbes Trinchera Ranch, in Costilla County, Colorado. The gift is the largest conservation easement in Colorado history. The conservation easement, which confines any future development, will protect the vast 80,000-acre property in perpetuity.

The spectacular Trinchera property comprises the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains between the towns of La Veta and Fort Garland, south of Highway 160. The Forbes Trinchera Ranch includes Harrison, Napoleon, Trinchera and Cuatro Peaks, and is drained by the upper seven miles of Trinchera Creek.

The Forbes Trinchera Ranch is the largest remaining undeveloped land parcel within the historic Sangre de Cristo land grant, which dates to 1843. Purchased by the late Malcolm Forbes in 1969 as a family retreat, the property has been managed since that time to maintain and enhance its ecological values.

Christopher “Kip” Forbes, Vice Chairman of Forbes, commented on the decision saying, “The possibilities and opportunities of this conservation easement of Trinchera Ranch are the fulfillment of my family’s 30-year dream to preserve this extraordinary part of America. Very rarely are one’s visions so completely fulfilled.

“Our family is very grateful to Ty Ryland, Trinchera’s manager, and his father, Errol, who managed the ranch before him. We are also indebted to the incredible ranch team, which has worked so long and hard to maintain this amazing, historic property.

“We also wish to thank Colorado Open Lands and all the people who worked so diligently to create this important effort on behalf of conservation for future generations.”

The Forbes Trinchera Ranch dominates the east-facing views from Fort Garland and the southern San Luis Valley with views of snow-capped peaks, vast expanses of conifer forest interspersed in autumn with golden aspen and cottonwoods, and broad grassland valleys. The ranch’s size, elevation and climate contain a rich diversity of ecotypes, from alpine tundra to subalpine forests, pinon-juniper, cottonwood riparian systems, and forbes and grasses. Wildlife, particularly big-game species, are abundant, including elk, big-horn sheep, mule deer, black bear and lion. Bald and Golden eagles frequent the property and trout populate the drainages.

Daniel Pike, President of Colorado Open Lands, said, “The Forbes Trinchera Ranch is a jewel. Few properties of this size and diversity exist in the United States, let alone Colorado. Protecting a Ranch such as this is a rare opportunity. The Forbes family has preserved something truly unique for all of us.”

Management of the property under the conservation easement will continue largely as it has in the recent past. A forest management plan, prepared by the State of Colorado and designed to enhance ecological and wildlife values, is already in place. Wildlife is managed in accordance with agreements with the Colorado Division of Wildlife. An active program to restore and enhance native grasses has been under way for several years, and will continue. Use of an existing conference center and hunting lodge will also continue.

 

 
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