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This Spring’s Top 3 Colorado Land Conservation Updates

Shadow Wild Ranch | Colorado Ranches for SaleRanch broker Ed Roberson updates us on the latest conservation updates that affect Colorado ranches for sale

During the first half of 2013, leaders from Colorado’s conservation and agricultural communities have been working diligently behind the scenes with our state’s elected officials to lay the groundwork for the continued success and growth of Colorado’s land conservation efforts. With an increase in available tax credits for conservation, a streamlined process for obtaining the tax credits, and an optimistic outlook for a new Federal Farm Bill, it appears that all of their hard work is finally paying off in the form of long-lasting, effective state and federal legislation.

Here are details on 2013’s top three land conservation developments:

  1. Colorado HB-1183 – This bill, which was signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper on May 23rd, increases the size of the tax credit cap to $45 million dollars for 2014. This is an $11 million increase over the current tax credit cap, and is projected to translate into approximately 20,000 additional acres per year conserved throughout Colorado.
  2. Colorado SB-221 – For those who are not policy experts, the bill can seem somewhat complex and convoluted. However, on the most basic level, SB-221 streamlines the process that landowners, appraisers, and government agencies must go through in order to have conservation tax credits issued by the state. This bill is the result of a extensive study of Colorado’s tax credit program, and it is expected make the entire process more efficient, controlled, and clear.
  3. U.S. Farm Bill – Although we don’t have any concrete policy updates on the Farm Bill since my last blog posting, I do know that conservation leaders are cautiously optimistic about the chances of a new bill being introduced in the very near future.  I’ve spoken with several Colorado land conservation leaders who’ve been spending time in Washington, DC lobbying our Senators and Representatives to pass a meaningful and effective new Farm Bill. If things go as expected, the new Farm Bill will be beneficial not just for conservation, but for the agricultural communities and families that are the backbone of Colorado.

With its tax credit program, the organized lobbying efforts of CCLT, and its abundance of land trusts, the State of Colorado is on the cutting edge of land conservation in the United States. It is exciting to watch the ways in which Colorado’s non-profits, governmental organizations, private landowners, and agricultural communities work together to “keep ranches as ranches” and maintain the agricultural and ranching heritage that has defined Colorado for well over 150 years.

For additional information on these subjects, as well as future conservation policy, check out the following resources:

Ed’s new listing, the Shadow Wild Ranch, is an excellent property for a conservation-minded buyer and is shown in the photo above. Stay tuned for more from Ed in the future regarding conservation policy and its impact on Colorado ranches for sale.

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