Coaldale Community Meeting July 24

Agriculture, water, and wide open spaces define Colorado. They are the reasons I moved here from Northern California nearly 8 years ago. Where I live in Western Fremont County as well as where I work in Custer County, active ranching and large, undeveloped landscapes still exist. Water still runs with the land and multi-generational families continue to steward the ranches and farms that provide us food, habitat for wildlife, clean water and air and scenic beauty that we all enjoy.

But over the last decades the pressures of development have been closing in on rural Colorado. The possibility of subdivision and irresponsible growth as well as the sale of water rights threaten our way of life.

With the population of Colorado expected to double by 2050 municipalities on the Front Range are eagerly looking for water. Unfortunately, the only water available is agriculture water. This is the very water that irrigates our food crops, hay fields and grazing lands. It contributes to the green lush landscapes we all love and sustains wildlife. Moreover, the Arkansas Water Basin, where we are located, is a prime target for the Front Range.

Dry-up of a very special ranch in Coaldale, Colorado

The CB Ranch borders Hwy 50 and CR 45. The ranch,along with the associated water rights, was purchased by Security Water District in Colorado Springs. While this ranch is only 160 acres, or so, it is a special ranch as it is located just across from the Arkansas River along Hwy 50. And its senior water right dates back to 1873. Within years the District will likely take the hay meadow out of production, eventually subdivide the land, and transfer the water for their municipal needs. What will remain is nothing more than a dusty, brown field of weeds. This change will impact surrounding property values, wildlife migration patterns, and this iconic and beautiful part of the Upper Arkansas watershed. The Western Fremont County community will lose a piece of its heritage. It will be changed. Forever.

What can we do?

Although the CB Ranch has sold and that water will be transferred, San Isabel Land Protection Trust is looking for ways to help. I’m personally interested in staying involved and doing what I can to lessen the impacts of the change at hand. I live in Coaldale right across the street from the CB Ranch. Like most folks, I appreciate the land and beauty of this region and want to do my part to help preserve agriculture and our way of life. Fortunately, I work for San Isabel Land Protection Trust and can leverage the knowledge and resources of our organization to help support the community through this time of change.

You’re invited

We are hosting a community meeting at the Coaldale Community Building on July 24 at 6:30pm to discuss the future of agriculture in our region as well as to share with the citizens of Fremont County the tools San Isabel uses to protect land and water. Everyone is invited.  San Isabel is keeping tabs on the transfer and looking at ways to help buffer the impact on our community

We want to hear from the citizens of Fremont County.

How can we best serve this community? What are your visions and can San Isabel help? For more information, please contact me directly at 719.783.3018 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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