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Preserving land for generations to come

Angels Among Us

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snowy scene with pine trees

Douglas Land Conservancy holds a conservation easement on Dawson Butte, beautiful open space about 20 miles southwest of Castle Pines.

The Douglas Land Conservancy (DLC) was established by community members in 1987 over concerns about unsustainable growth. Since then, the nonprofit organization has protected nearly 27,000 acres of wildlife habitat, working ranches, wetlands, clean water and scenic views across Douglas, Elbert and Jefferson Counties by way of conservation easement – the first being Big D Meadow at Perry Park in Larkspur.

According to Kaitlyn Stabell, community outreach and engagement coordinator at DLC, conservation easements are legal, binding agreements between a landowner and a government entity or land trust (like DLC) that contain restrictions on development and use of land. “Easements stay with properties, not with owners, so even if a property is sold, the new owner must still uphold the terms of the easement,” shared Kaitlyn.

Through DLC’s efforts, future generations will enjoy the natural beauty that is important to Coloradans. In fact, according to Kaitlyn, a 2021 survey showed that 98% of Douglas County residents believe the work of DLC to protect and preserve natural land and wildlife habitat is important – a sentiment that has been consistent over time.

To best support DLC, go outside and enjoy the beauty that abounds. The organization holds conservation easements on many local open spaces, such as Lincoln Mountain, Dawson Butte and 52 acres at the Castle Pines Golf Club, which has been protected since 2002.

“Recreational activities are abundant in our area, and it makes them even better knowing that many of those spaces will remain undeveloped for future generations to enjoy, too,” shared Kaitlyn.

March will be busy at DLC and everyone is welcome to join. Opportunities will include a nature-themed book club, a Front Range Native Plants workshop, a Women of Sandstone Ranch presentation, a Seasonal Journeys hike, an introductory class about local geology and a watercolor class. Together with Douglas County Open Space and Decode Douglas County Outdoors, DLC also runs a bluebird box monitoring program.

DLC thrives with volunteer support; about 150 people currently assist with the bluebird project, administrative work, guiding hikes, fundraising and much more.

The group has some hefty strategic plan goals through 2028 including increasing conservation impact regionally through new projects and exemplary stewardship, building partnerships and extending presence in the community, diversifying and broadening the financial base and growing the professional capabilities of the team.

As a 501(c)(3), DLC is funded by donations, events, foundation grants and project fees from conservation easement projects. Save the date and support DLC this summer at its 16th Annual JA Ranch Sunset BBQ on Saturday, August 24, at the JA Ranch in Larkspur. Enjoy the best views in Douglas County with an evening of authentic chuckwagon barbecue and live music. Tickets go on sale July 12.

To learn more about DLC, register for events, learn about volunteer opportunities and “give a hand for land” with a donation, visit You can also follow DLC on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X and YouTube.

By Elean Gersack; photo provided by Douglas Land Conservancy




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