Conservation as a BIG Solution, Letter from the Executive Director

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It is often in times of uncertainty, challenge, or return from defeat, that our greatest ideas emerge. One of my favorite notions has always been that creativity is born of constraint. Put by the filmmaker Orson Welles, “The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.”

Over the past year, we have challenged ourselves at Palmer Land Trust to think bigger in the face of limitations and threats. We have looked at the challenges Colorado faces and pushed ourselves to think beyond the first, second, or third idea, to a bigger solution.

Our region faces immense challenges:

How do we grow as a vibrant region in the face of limited water resources?How do we balance municipal water needs with maintaining our rich agricultural resources?How can we ensure our vibrant farming communities along the Arkansas River are not only sustained, but thrive?As our metro areas continue to grow, how can we maintain a high quality of life rooted in the beautiful, natural landscape?How do we not “love the landscape to death” as our trails and public open spaces gain in popularity?In the face of competing social priorities, how can land and water conservation be a driver of comprehensive solutions?Ultimately, what is the vision for our region 20 years from now?

We believe that conservation is more than an acre preserved - it can be a solution for large social challenges. Land is the foundation of our economy, quality of life, and identity in southern Colorado. Land is what unites us. Like the Arkansas River and the waterways that feed it, it is the common thread that recognizes kinship from one person to another, regardless of where we call home.

In the following pages, you’ll read about our work to pilot new models of farmland conservation that recognize the value of water in all aspects of our lives. You’ll read about important policy efforts that are critical to supporting and propelling land and water conservation forward. Plus, you’ll read about the month-long campaign launched in the Pikes Peak region to raise awareness and rally our community around land conservation as a solution and a priority.

Thank you for your investment and camaraderie in conservation. Your partnership helps to ensure southern Colorado is forever defined by inspiring scenic vistas, robust working farms and ranches, and accessible public recreation.

Together, we can THINK BIGGER to create a future of which we are all proud.


Rebecca Jewett, Executive Director

Read more and see our full Fiscal Year 2017 annual report here.