Mark Udall issued the following statement on Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar's announcement today that the Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area is moving forward with an offer to protect 90,000 acres, thanks to a conservation easement from conservationist and hedge fund manager Louis Bacon:
"Conservation easements are an important tool in Colorado to preserve and protect our farmland and open spaces," Udall said. "I have always believed that our open spaces and scenic landscapes are not treasures we inherit from our parents; they are treasures we borrow from our children. This easement will ensure that the Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area remains a spectacular landscape."
Udall has worked to extend a federal incentive for conservation easements and protect the long-term viability and integrity of Colorado's conservation easement program. In a 2009 letter, he and Sen. Michael Bennet urged federal officials to work with Colorado officials to ensure that conservation easements remain a useful tool for land owners and farmers.