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Land Trust Hosts Luncheon For Monitors

Jan Ricker, president of the Estes Valley Land Trust board of directors, welcomed the 60 volunteers who attended the Monitors’ Appreciation and Training Luncheon last Wednesday. The event was held in the Pine Room, Estes Park Center, YMCA of the Rockies.

During the luncheon/meeting, Jan highlighted the 2008 land conservation and stewardship achievements for the group. Russ Driskill, director for Annual Stewardship, and Mary Banken, administrative manager, led the participants through a few reminders and some new procedures for property monitoring and reporting. Some of the monitors are new to the process while many others have faithfully performed this task in previous years.

Special recognition was given to the Hermit Park monitoring team led by John and Sally Stevenson. Mary Lamy and Tom Watts were also recognized as having been a part of the first group of EVLT monitors in 1993, and are still active Land Trust volunteers.

“Conservation Easement Stewardship” is a major responsibility for the Land Trust. Each of the 145 Easements held by EVLT must be monitored at least annually, more often if necessary. Added together, these Easements cover a total of 8,590 protected acres throughout the Estes Valley.

Volunteer monitors survey each of their assigned properties in order to inspect current conditions and use, observe changes since the last inspection, and take note of any conditions on adjoining properties which could affect the Easement. A written report is submitted to the Land Trust office and the land owner is advised that monitoring has been completed.

The Trust is under obligation to make certain that the terms of all Conservation Easements are enforced in perpetuity. When violations are suspected, members of the board of directors follow-up promptly to determine if corrective action needs to be initiated.

EVLT is dependent upon volunteers to fulfill this task and is very grateful to all those who serve our community in this way. When the local land trust received national accreditation last year, the award letter included a special commendation citing the outstanding volunteer monitoring program across its 22 year history.

If you think you might be interested in volunteering for or becoming a member of the Estes Valley Land Trust, please contact the Land Trust office at 577-6837.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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