Elk NetworkColorado Conservation Bill Gets RMEF Support

General | February 23, 2024

Elk, mule deer and other Colorado wildlife chalked up a minor win after a bill promoting the conservation of private lands got the green light. By a 6-to-1 vote, the Colorado Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee advanced SB24-126 to the Colorado Senate Finance Committee. The measure renews the state conservation easement tax credit and the oversight commission that oversees it and increases the amount available each year from $45 million to $75 million.

“We are supportive of SB 126,” Susanne Roller, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation senior lands program manager-Rocky Mountain West, testified before the committee. “In Colorado, in order to maintain large herds of elk and deer on the landscape, private land protection is key as our public lands host marginal winter range in comparison to our private lands.”

RMEF holds 91 voluntary conservation agreements (conservation easements) in Colorado alone that protect nearly 151,000 acres of habitat. Such agreements protect the wildlife values of the land for the betterment of a wide array of species – ranging from elk, mule deer, moose, mountain lions, black bears and pronghorn antelope to threatened species like Greater sage-grouse, Gunnison sage-grouse and Columbian sharp-tailed grouse.

“Conservation easements represent an invaluable tool for permanently protecting critical wildlife habitat and have an added benefit of conserving agricultural lands – enabling our agricultural operators a greater ability to transfer lands to their heirs,” said Roller.

Click here to find more information about the bill.

(Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation/Senator Perry Will)