Vast ranches are a hallmark of the West, but many modern factors can make selling to developers ever more appealing.
Local landowners will gather at the Durango Arts Center to tell their stories about how conservation easements helped them keep their land.
Each five-minute talk will be paired with a short film that features local land easements.
Conservation easements allow landowners to retain ownership of their land while ensuring that it can never be developed.
This helps protect the open space that makes Durango a destination, said Amy Schwarzbach, executive director of La Plata Open Space Conservancy.
For example, before leaving city limits, riders on the train can see 1,000 acres of land protected by conservation easements, she said.
“We are protecting something that is of value to the American Public,” she said.
The fundraiser will benefit the La Plata Open Space Conservancy, a local nonprofit, and Schwarzbach hopes to make the film night an annual event.
The event will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Durango Arts Center. Tickets are $8, and a silent auction also will be held.