500 reasons to love Colorado

One of Colorado's most iconic natural sights is the deep yellow glow of our autumn aspen leaves. Aspen trees share a root system with their nearby brethren, and although they might seem like separate organisms, they are truly one living thing.

By Leslie Volkar January 11, 2021

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Aspens are also enduring. The oldest aspen stands in the American West are estimated to have lived over 80,000 years.

For Colorado's conservation community, we like to think of those aspens as a fitting metaphor for our conserved lands. With each additional conservation project completed, we add to an ecosystem of conservation that will endure long after each of us are gone. The landscape is interspersed with pockets of protection that make up a lasting legacy for our future.

That's why we at Colorado Open Lands are thrilled to announce that in December, we completed our 500th conservation project. Our protected lands range in size from less than a single acre, to over 80,000 acres in our largest protected ranch. They run the gamut to beloved public parks and trails, untamed wilderness, historic farms and ranches, geological and historic wonders — all contributing to that uniquely Colorado culture and character.

With our local and state partners, Colorado's conservation community has conserved over three million acres of land across our state since the 1960s. Like the mighty aspens, we work together as one to create a future for Colorado's people and wildlife that is spectacular and enduring.