Bacon gives big to conserve Colorado wild

By Lawrence Delevingne

Tue Sep 18, 2012

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The Moore founder and longtime environmentalist adds nearly 77,000 acres to western conservation area.


 
 Louis Bacon and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar
(Photo: Paul Trantow)
 
Louis Bacon, the founder of $15 billion Moore Capital Management, has added to his legacy as a conservationist with a new pact with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conserve nearly 77,000 acres in the Colorado wilderness.

The "conservation easement"—to be part of the newly formed Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area—comes from Bacon's 81,400-acre Trinchera Ranch. An easement allows Bacon to maintain ownership of the land but limits what he and future owners can do to develop the now-pristine area.

The deal announced Friday in Denver adds to Bacon's previously announced intention of similarly donating 90,000 acres from his adjacent Blanca Ranch, bringing the total amount of permanently protected land to nearly 170,000 acres, according to a government press release. Together, the two easements represent the largest donation ever to the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Conservation easements typically come with a tax break in recompense for not developing the land. The first donation announced in June would likely receive some benefit when it’s finalized, but the additional contribution of the Trinchera Ranch last week features no tax reward as the land was already placed in an easement by the Forbes family before they sold to Bacon in 2007. The new gift broadens oversight to the Fish and Wildlife Service, which will now join non-profit Colorado Open Lands in monitoring and preservation.

“We are too quickly losing important landscapes in this country to development– and I worry that if we do not act to protect them now, future generations will grow up in a profoundly different world,” said Bacon in a statement.

Bacon received a standing ovation when he arrived to make the announcement Friday at the History Colorado Center, according to the Denver Post. He previously made state news when he fought to keep power lines from being built through the same land.

Bacon has helped conservation and environmental causes in the Bahamas and Robins Island, Long Island and has been a major supporter of Waterkeeper Alliance, Riverkeeper, and the Everglades Foundation among many others he donates to through the Moore Charitable Foundation, as noted by his alma mater, Middlebury College.