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Agate Prairie Conservation Legacy

Year Awarded: Fiscal Year 2016

USDA Funding: $2.4 Million

Project Timeline: 4 Years (2017 – 2020)

Conservation Program Funding: Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)

Colorado Counties: Elbert and surrounding

Lead Partner: Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT)

Project Summary:
The Agate Prairie Conservation Legacy represents a unique opportunity to build upon previous conservation investments in a dynamic landscape located less than 45 minutes from Denver. To date, approximately 60,000 acres of private land has been permanently protected in and around the Town of Agate. A majority of this protected land is comprised of native prairie grasslands, which provides essential habitat for several threatened species and species of special significance including the burrowing owl, swift fox and mountain plover. Prairie grasslands are also critical to the overall health and functionality of watersheds. With this project, partners will permanently protect an additional 30,000 acres of grassland prairie located in northwestern Elbert County through the acquisition of three conservation easements. Partners will work with the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies to conduct bird surveys on the property as an indication of rangeland health, which will be used to direct future habitat and rangeland improvement projects.