ASPEN, Colo. (AP) -- Colorado was the third most successful state in the country in preserving open space last year.
A new report by the Colorado Conservation trust says governments and land trusts in the state preserved 167,500 acres of private land. The report says Colorado is only one of two states in the West where more land is protected every year than is lost to development.
Aspen Valley Land Trust, the state's oldest, acquired conservation easements on 5,200 acres in the Roaring Fork and lower Colorado River valleys last year. Under conservation easements, landowners agree to limit or forgo development of their property.
The Colorado Conservation Trust points to the state's population growth to underscore the challenges still ahead. Colorado added more than 1 million people between 1990 and 2000 and the growth rate was 10-and-a-half percent from 2000 to 2006.