Issues: Wild Lands, Wildlife
Partners: Colorado Headwaters, Colorado Natural Heritage Program
Airport Origin : Lamar, CO
Provide the May Valley Farm with aerial photos highlighting the importance of preserving the Great Plain wetlands. Create a film examining the importance of the May Valley Farm on beaver populations and habitat for the Colorado Beaver Summit.
The May Valley Farm is facing intense pressures to further develop their land to increase productivity. However, this family-based operation recognizes the balance between farming and maintaining the crucial biodiversity of their land. Possessing immense ecological value, with acres of native grasslands and the 7-mile long Sand Creek in south-east Colorado, this region provides habitat for numerous plant and animal species.
The native grasslands in the surrounding area have largely disappeared due to farming. The May Valley Farm is committed to protecting the ecosystem and animals in this region, going as far as placing a conservation easement over their land to ensure long-term protection. The streams that meander across their landscape provide for various aquatic and riparian species. The Great Plains previously housed abundant beaver populations, and currently Sand Creek is one of the few places in the region where beavers can be spotted. Beavers are keystone species; meaning they contribute to habitat in a way that maintains the health and populations of other species in the ecosystem. This farm provides critical services that maintain the biodiversity of the region.
In an area dominated by agriculture and high rates of emissions, the May Valley Farm acts as a carbon storage. The wetlands of the Sand Creek and soils of the farm provide carbon sequestration. The May family works hard to ensure the intrinsic value, biodiversity, and ecosystem services of their farm are protected.