Conservation Conversations: High Country Rural and Land Management: The Ultimate Land, Resource and Good Neighbor Guide |

Conservation Conversations: High Country Rural and Land Management: The Ultimate Land, Resource and Good Neighbor Guide

Middle Park Conservation District
For Sky-Hi News

The Middle Park Conservation District wants you to know that to conserve is to protect against damage, loss, waste, neglect and over-exploitation.

Conservation acknowledges humans as a part of the landscape and promotes the use of Earth’s resources for food, shelter, industry, recreation and other purposes.

Conservation balances the protection of natural resources with sustainable/wise use by humans. As the great conservationist-writer Aldo Leopold said when speaking of the Land Ethic: “The role of Homo sapiens should be changed from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it.”

In other words, conservation should be a symbiotic relationship between humans and nature — if we help the land, the land will help us.

Proper land management is a multi-faceted concept, similar to the spokes of a wheel. Imagine “proper land management” being the hub of wheel. The spokes include, but are not limited to, noxious weed management; healthy forest or rangeland management; proper grazing management; proper water management; knowing the local and state laws regarding fencing, water rights, implied easements and “Right to Farm;” being a good neighbor; and continuing to maintain the health of your land over time.

Without the hub and spokes providing support for your wheel, it will not function properly and will eventually fail. The same thing could happen to your land if you do not take the proper precautions and actions to maintain its health and function.

Owners who value the conservation of their land and natural resources will reap the rewards of their hard work and prosperity.

Properly managed lands:

  • Save money, because they are more productive over the long-term
  • Ensure better water quality for you, your animals and your neighbors
  • Provide higher quality wildlife habitat
  • Produce more grass for grazing
  • Grow healthier livestock
  • Improve property values and attractiveness
  • Make your neighbors happier
  • Satisfy your responsibility to care for the land

Common Myth: I don’t own enough land to worry about proper land management

People often assume that because they live on a small property or reside in town that natural resource management issues do not apply to them. The reality is that small acreage owners face the same resource issues as large acreage owners; they are just on a smaller scale. Whether you live on hundreds of acres or on the corner of two major city streets, you are still susceptible to:

  • Noxious weeds infesting your field or flower bed
  • Insects attacking your large forest or your single backyard tree
  • Water erosion destroying your river bank or your gravel driveway
  • Wildlife munching on your hay crop or your perfectly manicured lawn and garden

Yes, the size of problem may be reduced on smaller acreage properties; nevertheless, the problem still exists.

Furthermore, the effect of that problem on smaller properties and their market values may be more significant compared to that of larger acreage properties.

Living in rural mountain communities promises both challenges and rewards. We hope, through the High Country Rural Living and Land Management guide, readers will:

a) Better understand the limitations and opportunities of living in the mountains

b) Set achievable goals for your property and lifestyle

c) Grasp conservation-minded principles and acknowledge the importance of conserving our precious natural resources for future generations


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