Each of Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust’s (RiGHT) conservation easements is a true accomplishment, a partnership between the landowners, the land trust, and funders and professionals who make the projects possible. Among these, the Garcia Ranch on the Conejos River is particularly special, thanks to its extraordinary beauty with lush meadows and dense stands of cottonwood and willow, and the deep roots of the Garcia family in the San Luis Valley. This 760-acre ranch encompasses 550 acres of wetlands that are vital habitat for many species of wildlife and a vast array of birds, including the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. Reyes Garcia, a retired professor of philosophy, environmental and south west studies, restored the historic adobe home, built by his great grandfather on the ranch. Along with his two daughters, Lana and Tania, he was committed to preserving the exceptional qualities of his family’s land, from the senior water rights that make it so productive for hay and pasture to the protected meadows, surrounded by thick willow and towering cottonwood trees, where wildlife have a safe refuge.
“The heartfelt and generous approach to conserving the legacy of the Garcia family, who first came to the area in the 1850’s, made this project especially rewarding and all of us at RiGHT are grateful for the chance to help them fulfill their vision for the future of this lovely land on the Conejos River,” said Nancy Butler, Executive Director, Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust.
Learn more about RiGHT here.