Steve and Ann Stranahan and The Upper Elk River Valley Compact

The Preservation Program That’s Become  a Trend In Colorado

In the early 1990’s we began to be seriously concerned about the growth of unregulated development closing in on the Elk River Valley.  With the help of our neighbors, John and Jay Fetcher, we brought our ranching neighbors together to talk about preserving the agricultural culture and landscape of this beautiful valley. Our combined efforts resulted in the Upper Elk River Valley Compact, a unique achievement in the conservation of American ranch lands.

The spring 2010 edition of the American Farmland Trust magazine drew national attention to our efforts.  The article below is an excerpt of our story:  how a small group of people in Clark, CO succeeded in preserving many thousands of acres from mindless development in the Elk River Valley.  This article was one in a series of 10 profiles highlighting the conservation efforts of other inspiring conservation trailblazers across the nation.  If you would like inspiration for a conservation effort in your own community,  we have provided a link to a pdf of the entire article entitled “10 People,Places, and Partnerships Making A Difference.”

We are heartened that successful efforts continue to preserve not only this valley but endangered lands throughout the county and the State of Colorado. Perhaps with some help and inspiration from the American Farmland Trust you could begin a preservation movement in your own community.

Thank you for your interest in our conservation efforts,


Steve and Ann

If you would like to find out more about the work of the American Farmland Trust, the link below is a great start.

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