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Mineral Development and Land Conservation

A Handbook for Conservation Professionals

Revised Edition 2011


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     So why does the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts care about mineral and energy development? The answer is that as both stewards of the land and as Coloradoans who care about the economic growth of our state, we cannot afford not to. Colorado’s energy sector is strong and growing, and is a critical base of our economy. At the same time, land conservation organizations are working hard to double the 2 million acres of Colorado’s wildlife habitat, working farms and ranches, and scenic vistas that already have been conserved.

     Voluntary conservation easements are, and will continue to be, a critical tool for conserving these irreplaceable landscapes where we live, work, and play.

     The best way to reduce conflicts between land conservation and mineral development is to make sure everyone operates, from the beginning, with the best possible information. The impressive team of experts who contributed to this handbook did exactly that—they compiled a state-of-the art guide that will be a well-used resource for every land conservation professional in Colorado and beyond.

     With input from oil and gas and conservation attorneys, scientists, industry professionals and other conservation professionals, Mineral Development and Land Conservation: A Handbook for Conservation Professionals is a tool that will help conservation professionals evaluate new projects and inform landowners of the potential impacts of mineral development on land they are considering or have already put under conservation easement. Although the Handbook is primarily designed to address conservation easements, owners of lands in fee title will also find compelling sections on split estate issues, impacts, and surface use agreements.

     The Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts serves the community of land trusts and government open space programs and the organizations and individuals who work alongside them to conserve Colorado’s natural resources, wildlife habitat, working farms and ranches, scenic landscapes, and outdoor nature-based recreational opportunities. We are pleased to present this Handbook as another piece in a series of technical assistance that improves the quality and permanence of land conservation.