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Cortez, Colorado

360 Acres | March 29, 2004
Galen Larson, donor
Conservation Easement

The Larson Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the extreme southwestern corner of Colorado known as the Four Corners.  The area is under development pressures with large properties being divided into small ranches and residential lots.

The 360 acres comprising the Larson Wildlife Sanctuary, however, will never be subjected to such divisions or development.  Established in 2004 by Galen Larson, the protection of the property was the fulfillment of a dream he shared with his late wife, Willetta.  Although they were approached many, many times to sell the property, according to Mr. Larson, they could never give the land over for development. “

The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust accepted the donation of a conservation easement on the property, agreeing that the property would never be divided, never be developed.  In addition, the wildlife who call this land home are further protected because recreational and commercial hunting and trapping, as well as destructive logging practices, are permanently prohibited.

The Larson Wildlife Sanctuary is a forested and open tract, dominated by pinion pine on the upper slopes and plains above the canyon. The lower slopes and canyon floor are dominated by big sage, as is the southeastern corner of the property.

An abundance of wildlife thrive on the sanctuary, including mule deer, elk, mountain lion, both red and gray fox, cottontail and jack rabbits, coyotes, raccoons and snakes. Countless birds nest here and many more pass through during seasonal migrations.  The property is home to pheasants, owls and bald and golden eagles among others.

Although this sanctuary remains privately owned, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust has an obligation to perform periodic inspections to ensure that the wildlife habitat remains in good condition and that the terms of the conservation easements are being met.  These inspections, and the handling of any destruction or violations, cost heavily in professional staff time, consultants, and travel expenses. In addition HSWLT needs a reserve of funds for the substantial legal fees needed if enforcement of violations involves court action.

HSWLT has promised to protect this property as sanctuary forever -- and that promise will be kept.  If you can help with the cost of stewardship for this and the other properties HSWLT protects, please donate here.

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