Funded Projects2021 Funded Project: Crested Butte Land Trust

April 11, 2022

The Adventure Continues

In memory of their son and brother following a tragic accident, Kendall and Sherry Mikesell and their daughters, Laura and Julie, launched the Chris Mikesell Foundation in 2008. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $300,000 in grants to organizations honoring Chris’ adventurous spirit, passion for travel, and love of people. Those lucky enough to know Chris knew that he not only moved to Crested Butte after college to work and enjoy his time in the mountains but because he thought it was paradise on Earth. Now, years after his tragic accident, the Chris Mikesell Foundation continues to spread Chris’ love and adoration of Crested Butte by providing financial support to various local organizations.

Preserving Chris’ Paradise on Earth

One of the organizations the Chris Mikesell Foundation is proud to provide continued support to is the Crested Butte Land Trust, which protects and stewards open lands for vistas, recreation, wildlife, and ranching, contributing to Gunnison County’s unique heritage and quality of life. In addition to helping the community by protecting the Gunnison Valley’s breathtaking beauty, agricultural heritage, wildlife habitats, and access to trails for year-round public recreation, the Crested Butte Land Trust has successfully completed numerous conservation projects over the past 31 years. Some of their most notable projects include the protection of Long Lake, the Lower Loop Trails, Lupine Trails, Smith Hill conservation area, Gunsight Bridge, and the Slate River Wetlands.

  • “The Crested Butte Land Trust is honored to be involved in sharing Chris's spirit and legacy through the protection of land and water for people, wildlife, and ranching in the Gunnison Valley.”

    – Jake Jones, Crested Butte Land Trust

Altering the Local Landscape

For several years, the Crested Butte Land Trust has built and enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the Chris Mikesell Foundation. This past year’s $8,000 grant has helped forever alter the conservation efforts of the upper Slate River Valley by protecting 59 acres on Smith Hill, known as Kikel Lot 3, located near the town of Crested Butte. The acquisition and conservation of Kikel Lot 3 has allowed the Crested Butte Land Trust and the town of Crested Butte to continue the protection of an important landscape that supports historic elk migration and grazing, world-class trails, significant game habitat, and stunning views of the entire Slate River Valley and Paradise Divide. Members of the Crested Butte Land Trust team have since expressed their deep gratitude and admiration for the Foundation’s close mission alignment and support and look forward to a continued partnership moving forward.

To see a comprehensive history of organizations and causes the Foundation has supported, see all Funded Projects.

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