In 1994, a small group of Custer County residents concerned about growth issues and the threat to agricultural lands and waters in the region sought public dialogue and community planning. With the help of a capacity-building grant from Great Outdoors Colorado in 1995, these early workers learned about  land trust procedures and increased community awareness through landowner forums. Shortly after that, the land trust was incorporated as a 501(c)3 organization.

In 1996, when Custer County was the fourth fastest growing county in the country, our land trust worked closely with other community organizations to complete the San Isabel Resource Plan with the help of a Great Outdoors Colorado planning grant. The plan provided local residents with an understanding of their natural and cultural resources and options to protect them. It also served as a tool to identify priority areas for land and water protection. The Resource Plan gained a broad base of support for its mission, and by early 1997, San Isabel accepted its first conservation easement.

Today, San Isabel is a nationally accredited nonprofit conservation organization, working with landowners to protect their land and water in Custer, Fremont, Pueblo and Huerfano counties. Our vision is to ensure that our region forever remains a beautiful and wild landscape with a strong agricultural foundation and vibrant, healthy communities.

  • “Because San Isabel is pro-agriculture, we were able to work closely with them to craft the contract we felt comfortable with. It allows us to capture revenue off the land while still living on it and maintaining full autonomy of ownership.”

    – Elin Parker Ganschow, Music Meadows Ranch and Sangres Best