Greenland Ranch, Colorado. Photo by John Fielder.
The oldest operating cattle ranch along the Rocky Mountains in Colorado is also one of the state’s biggest conservation success stories. The 21,000-acre Greenland Ranch, south of Denver, has the soft rolling hills, mesas and rugged views that define Colorado’s foothills. The ranch spans eight miles of Interstate 25, a north-south highway that parallels Colorado’s rapidly developing Front Range.
With chain stores and housing construction threatening iconic Colorado landscapes up and down I-25, The Conservation Fund made it a priority to conserve Greenland Ranch. John Malone, known for his leadership in land preservation, worked with us, ultimately selling a third of the property to Douglas County to keep as public open space. He conserved the remainder through a conservation agreement that continues ranching yet restricts future development. Key support for this project came from Douglas County and Great Outdoors Colorado, a voter-approved organization that uses lottery proceeds for conservation.
Thanks to a true team effort, Greenland Ranch remains the largest tract of undeveloped land along the entire Front Range. In a 2006 Denver Post story, Malone remarked that “Greenland Ranch is our contribution to the area, to Colorado and particularly the Front Range, to think ahead and keep it in its natural state.”