The “We Like Lake Creek!” Campaign
The Lake Creek Valley has been a focus of your local Land Trust for many years. We believe Lake Creek should be saved and preserved in its natural state! Thus, we remain focused on land conservation opportunities in and around the Lake Creek Valley. This beautiful and pristine slice of Rocky Mountain heritage is the last southern creek valley in our community that has not been developed with golf courses and endless subdivisions, and it deserves to stay that way!
The creeks, streams, aspens, pines, ranches and meadows of the Lake Creek Valley are worth conserving in their current, natural state. Surrounded by U.S. National Forest and Wilderness, the Lake Creek Valley is home to the 3rd largest elk herd in the region, along with black bears, mule deer, foxes, beavers, eagles and dozens of other animals. With public trail systems throughout the area, Lake Creek is also a place for people. The outdoor recreation and wilderness opportunities available here add many more reasons to protect and conserve Lake Creek from suburban development.
The Lake Creek Valley has it all! – Western ranching heritage, iconic Colorado landscapes and views, public hiking trails, aspen groves, pine forests, clean waters full of fish, huge elk herds, front door access points into White River National Forest and Holy Cross Wilderness lands… and no golf courses! The Lake Creek Valley is a picture postcard for what it means to be in Colorado.
We started our work in the Lake Creek Valley in 1998 with one of the earliest conservation easements in EVLT history, the George Webster Ranch Conservation Easement. In 1999, we worked with Colorado Open Lands to conserve 520 acres of the East Lake Creek Ranch. Then in 2004, we added a third conservation easement called Casteel Creek Ranch. These ranches serve as land buffers between more populous areas in the northern valley and the Holy Cross Wilderness to the south.
Our efforts to protect the Lake Creek Valley took another step forward with our “Front Door Access” project, a public-private partnership to conserve land within walking distance of local neighborhoods. Your local Land Trust closed on this project, called the Homestead Conservation and Public Recreation Project, in 2012. These 4 conservation easements, located in the northeast end of the Lake Creek Valley, protected 322 acres of land, as well as 4 miles of public access trail systems.
Our goals for Lake Creek conservation also include saving and protecting critical landscapes and view-sheds in the valley. In 2015, we added an additional 167 acres of protected land when the USFS “Cordillera Ridgeline” went into conservation easement as part of the larger Eagle Valley Land Exchange. We are also working with private landowners to preserve other land parcels in Lake Creek.
As we look to the future, your local Land Trust is focused on the remaining ranch lands and the large land parcels in the heart of the Lake Creek Valley. We are hard at work, and at the negotiating table with local landowners, to save these lands in their current, natural state for generations to come. This includes the 640-acre State Land Board parcel that is contiguous with National Forest land, and the 1,280-acre Scudder-Webster Joint Venture Ranch. These vast and environmentally-rich ranch lands contain some of the most significant and important conservation values within Lake Creek, and we will continue to push for their permanent protection as part of our campaign. We will continue to identify willing landowners in the Lake Creek Valley to discuss conservation options for their land. Your local Land Trust is the voice of conservation in the Lake Creek Valley, and we are willing to work with all Lake Creek landowners to ensure that land use decisions consider conservation as a primary goal.