Funded Projects2023 Funded Project: Crested Butte Land Trust

May 6, 2024

Preserving the Present for the Future

Since 1991, the Crested Butte Land Trust has worked to preserve scenic vistas, wildlife habitats, ranching heritage, and recreational opportunities in Gunnison County. The non-political nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization works on a voluntary basis with private landowners in Gunnison County and remains a vital asset for the community, as clean waters, scenic vistas, and healthy habitats are valuable to the way of life in Gunnison County. The community impact of their stewardship efforts is vast and diverse, as each project and program is considered an investment in the future.


Championing Land Stewardship

Once lands are conserved, the Crested Butte Land Trust continues to monitor and maintain these lands for generations to come, as preserving and caring for land is a constant, ever-changing task. To continue to ensure a positive investment in the future, the Crested Butte Land Trust is committed to carefully considering its ability to steward such conservation projects forever. Over the past 32 years, some of the organization’s most notable projects include the protection of Long Lake, the Lower Loop Trails, Lupine Trails, the Smith Hill conservation area, Gunsight Bridge, and the Slate River Wetlands.


Conserving Land, Trails, and Wildlife

In honor of Chris’ adventurous spirit, love of people, and passion for travel, the Chris Mikesell Foundation aims to support organizations dedicated to preserving and protecting the environment’s natural beauty. Since 2009, the Chris Mikesell Foundation has worked closely with the Crested Butte Land Trust, funding conservation projects that protect the land, trails, wildlife, and heritage in the community that Chris loved. This past year’s $3,000 grant to the organization was allocated to the Stewardship Fund to financially ensure stewardship activities are made possible year after year. Such activities include the following

  • Annual Monitoring

    Working with conservation landowners is a critical part of stewardship efforts. As part of this collaboration, the Land Trust performs annual monitoring visits of every private conservation easement and Land Trust-owned parcel to ensure the terms of easements are being met, opportunities for improvement of conservation values are identified, and support for landowners is provided.

  • Noxious Weed Mitigation

    The Land Trust works with community partners to monitor and manage weeds on its conserved properties, help private landowners with their parcels, and host volunteer weed-pulling events.

  • Recreational Use Management

    Each year, the Land Trust partners with multiple agencies to provide trail connectivity and access points for low-impact recreational opportunities in the Gunnison Valley. Through its stewardship team, community partners, and hard-working volunteers, the organization is able to help build and maintain trails, create signage, and clean up trash and other human impacts, in addition to educating the public on responsible recreation, trail etiquette, and leave-no-trace principles.

  • Restoration

    To address the challenge of protecting wetlands, streams, and wildlife habitats on conserved properties, the Crested Butte Land Trust has formed a collaborative Slate River Working Group (SRWG) to identify and implement river-specific management opportunities in the Upper Slate River Valley.

  • "The Chris Mikesell Foundation has been a generous supporter of the Crested Butte Land Trust for 15 years...

    and we are honored to be a part of Chris’s legacy. We are grateful to be entrusted with [their] support in protecting the land that we love.”

    —Ashley UpChurch, Crested Butte Land Trust

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

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