Drink a cold one for conservation

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A mild September evening, live music, happy people, good food, and cold beer. If that sounds like the recipe for a good time, mark your calendar for the Montezuma Land Conservancy’s 16th annual Harvest Beer Festival and join the conservancy in celebrating local land conservation.

The festival will be Saturday, Sept. 6, from 4 to 9 p.m., at Parque de Vida in Cortez.

All proceeds benefit Montezuma Land Conservancy for the conservation of working family farms, historic ranches, wildlife habitat and scenic open space.

MLC has protected more than 37,000 acres of land in Montezuma, Dolores and San Miguel counties and continues to play a leading role in shaping the future of the local landscape and protecting our rural heritage. The opportunity to generate cash flow through subdivision or sale has never been higher – increasing the urgency and need for proactive land protection. MLC offers an alternative to local landowners. Despite the important role agriculture plays in our community, more than 25,000 acres of farm and ranchland have been lost to subdivision since 1990 in Montezuma County alone. Ensuring that future generations can enjoy this unique landscape and way of life requires us to balance growth with the protection of private lands.

Just between 2007 and 2012, Montezuma County alone lost 14,000 acres of open space and agricultural land to residential use through subdivision. These lands contain productive soils and rangeland, important water rights, riparian habitat, big-game calving grounds, migration corridors, and splendid views—qualities that help define the rural community and way of life. MLC addresses this loss of land by partnering with landowners who voluntarily choose to restrict development and subdivision rights on their private property to keep it open and available for agriculture and habitat.

Currently the conservancy is working on several projects from Groundhog to the Mancos Valley. While land protection continues to be its core mission, this summer in partnership with another local non-profit, MLC took on a two-phase stewardship project on a protected property to accomplish riparian-habitat restoration, fence-building, and other stewardship-related activities.

MLC invites everyone to help preserve these special places by attending its annual fundraiser, the Harvest Beer Festival. The event will features artisanal ales and brews from the following regional breweries:

  • Carver Brewing Co.
  • Dolores River Brewery
  • Durango Brewing Co.
  • Main Street Brewery
  • Moab Brewery
  • Avalanche Brewing Co.
  • Ska Brewing
  • Steamworks Brewing Co.
  • Three Rivers Brewery
  • Riff Raff Brewing Co.

There will be live music from 4-9 pm featuring Montezuma Acoustic Trust with Glenn Smith, Chuck Barry and Andy Hutchinson, and West Bound Headed East.

A silent auction will offer such items as:

  • Hiking, clothing and travel gear from a variety of top brands
  • Bike, board and ski gear
  • Overnight stays at iconic bed and breakfasts
  • Ski passes to multiple resorts
  • Restaurant gift certificates to regional hot spots
  • Framed art and photography
  • Romantic cabin on the West Fork of the Dolores
  • A variety of unique jewelry pieces • Massages and yoga galore

This family-friendly event will have kids’ activities. The $25 entry price includes unlimited beer-tasting. The entry price is $15 for non-drinkers. Children 15 and under are free with a paid adult. Food is available and sold separately. Tickets are available at the door, and for pre-purchase. For more information, call 565-1664, or visit www.montezumaland. org

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From August 2014.