COLORADO—For those unfamiliar with Louis Bacon—no relation to Kevin—he is a billionaire New York hedge-fund manager with buckets of land in Colorado's southern Rockies. He has also pledged to protect 90,000 acres of his ranch properties from future in-state development (read: eminent domain) as part of federal conservation easements, the largest to date in the country. The proposed Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area means tax benefits for Mr. Bacon. (Billionaires aren't stupid.) It will also preserve wildlife and water for the region's trout, bison, cougar, black bear, big horn sheep, elk, and deer populations, according to federal proponents such as Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar. The easements will allow continued ranching, hunting, and recreation, coupled with no construction of significant structures.
Via the Denver Post: "The agreement with Bacon builds on government work around the nation using easements to create mosaics of public and private land designated for conservation. Traditionally, preservation of pristine landscapes, such as Yellowstone National Park, has relied on the federal government obtaining title to land. Easements leave land in private hands while limiting activities to hunting and recreation that can be sustained in healthy ecosystems.
"Bacon has embraced this approach — the National Audubon Society is honoring him with an environmental leadership award — and staffers said this offer of an easement is aimed at spurring other private landowners to agree to easements and establish the Sangre de Cristo Conservation corridor."Source Link