In an effort to increase the adoption of regenerative/conservation land management practices in Colorado, HMI has been collaborating with over 40 organizations that support, educate or work with agricultural producers in Colorado. This collaboration began with a Colorado Working Lands Summit held in Aurora, Colorado on April 26, 2018 with over 30 organizations attending. During that summit, this group looked at key challenges to and opportunities for enhancing working lands in Colorado.
Summit objectives were to:
- Lay the groundwork for establishing partnerships/collaborations that result in improved on the ground land management and thriving agricultural operations in Colorado.
- Develop working groups to define regional needs and initial solutions/action steps.
- Create a network/alliance moving forward that remains engaged in these activities and outreach to those involved in working lands.
Over the last four months these groups have been working on developing a website, calendar of events, and listserve to assist the development of communication and organization of this coalition. CO CEWL (Colorado Coalition to Enhance Working Lands) is now a coalition of over 40 organizations working together to address the challenges facing those working to enhance the health and productivity of Colorado working lands.
As stated on the new CO CEWL website, the purpose of CO CEWL is to improve the resilience and productivity of Colorado to create viable agricultural businesses and rural communities, protect open space, and increase the ecosystem service benefits these lands provide to the people of Colorado. CO CEWL’s focus is working with agricultural producers and land managers to increase soil health, biodiversity, and hydrologic function wherever possible.
CO CEWL’s strategies are:
To provide a platform for Coalition participants and their networks to connect and share information for easy access to events, knowledge, competency, and resources to increase their success on the ground, in their communities, and for the state of Colorado.
To support and enhance the ongoing efforts of agricultural producers, land managers, organizations, and agencies to improve working lands in Colorado. Their efforts to revitalize the soil, land productivity and water quality are vital for all Coloradoans.
To increase all Coloradoans’ awareness of the value of enhancing working lands and help them understand how they can support agricultural producers and land managers who improve working land health and function through their management practices.
CO CEWL’s goals are to acknowledge and support the good work being done by land managers and agricultural producers as well as the organizations supporting them, develop funding opportunities, and provide professional development and networking opportunities. Through these activities we identify the collective problems of land managers and agricultural producers and work within the coalition to solve them or engage in activities that address those needs.
Participants at the summit or in working groups have represented organizations including:
Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Guidestone Colorado, CO USDA NRCS, Colorado Open Lands, Badger Creek Ranch, Whole New Concepts, Mad Agriculture, Green Sparks Venture, Colorado Land Link, Coldharbour Regenerative Network, Colorado State Land Board, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Southwest Grassfed Livestock Alliance, Western Landowners Alliance, Colorado Conservation Tillage Association, The Nature Conservancy, TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation, Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers, Flying Diamond Ranch, Colorado State Land Board, Interbasin Compact Committee, May Ranch, Trainor Cattle Company, Audubon Rockies, Round River Resource Management Natural Capitalism Solutions, Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, Lewis Family Farm LLC, Ducks Unlimited, Savory Institute, Quivira Coalition, National Young Farmers Coalition, San Juan Ranch, Guidestone Colorado, North Water Conservation District, Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado State University Extension, Pasture Map, and Mirr Ranch Group
If you would like to be involved in this coalition, please contact us at: Colorado[email protected]. Thanks to all our partners and funders, Martha Records and Rich Rainaldi, for their help and support of this work.