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Conservation Easement Inspection

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On Wednesday I'll be meeting, at the field, with a representative of the Black Canyon Land Trust. This is the annual inspection that the Land Trust completes on those portions of our property that are covered by conservation easements. For those of you who are new, and do not know about the easements, here's the background:

The easements were established by the former property owner who wished to protect the Endangered clay-loving wild buckwheat plant that occurs on our property and the adjacent BLM lands. The easements are attached to the property, and are legally binding on MMAA. The portion of our 80 acres that is not under easement is basically the area occupied by our site developments (runway, pits, parking area, etc.). The easement constrains us from developing the conserved portion of the property, or degrading it in any way. This includes prohibiting overland vehicle travel. Were it not for the endangered plant, we would not own the property, and would not be among the very small number of RC groups in the country who do own their property. Additionally, due to the fact that the property cannot be developed, the valuation has been significantly lowered which means that our property tax burden has also been lowered.  

You will notice that there are three small fenced areas that are on MMAA property and BLM lands. Those were put in place to protect some of the buckwheat occurrences. We partnered with the Fish and Wildlife Service, Colorado Natural Areas Program, and BLM to get those fences completed. As the MMAA representative, I oversaw the construction of those three fenced areas, including some portions of the fence on BLM land. We do have the responsibility for long term maintenance of the fenced areas on MMAA lands. 

For those who may be interested under the "links" section of this website, I'll put a link to websites that contain information about the clay-loving wild buckwheat, which occurs only in the Uncompahgre River basin on the Mancos Shale (adobes). There is a small population in the Gunnison River basin near Austin, but the bulk of the known sites are south of Montrose. Many locations between Montrose and out location have been destroyed by development.  I will also provide a link to Colorado Natural Heritage Program resource inventory that covers this area in the Uncompahgre River Basin. That inventory provides information on the unique natural resources within the area. Not light reading, but very informative.

If you have any questions, please PM me, or place your question here, and I'll do my best to answer it.

Jim

 

Last edit: by Tippodriver


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I met with the Black Canyon Land Trust representative today for the annual inspection to make sure we are in compliance with the terms of our contract for the conservation easement. For the first time, we've had some off road vehicle impacts on the property east of the canal and some on the west side of the canal too. In one case it appears to have been one of our own, and I suppose fortunately most of the travel in that case was on BLM lands. The other instances appeared to be random. At this point in time it is not sufficient to create an issue with the conservation easement. We probably need to remind our own people that they must stay on our road, or the disturbed area around the pits and on the runway area.

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Jim,
  Thank you so very much your efforts you have made this year and the many years past to ensure the club is able to keep its conservation agreement and our beautiful flying site!!
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No problem Bob. We got this site for all the modelers in the area in the future, and the easement was one of the tools that helped make it all happen.

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