News & Real Estate Updates

Rincon Pro-Active for Open Space

Thursday, March 5, 1998

In the world of conservation easements, there are many different ways to skin the proverbial cat. At Rincon Real Estate in Creede, Broker Nancy Albright and her staff say they try to help each other landowner find the way that's best - for the landowner.

"We try to help ranchers find a balance, where humans are one part of the equation," Albright said. "For landowners to feel they can access only one kind of easement may discourage them from taking that step. We want to help people understand that open space is disappearing, and that taking away the possibility of development does not mean taking away hunting rights, or rights to farm, or any other rights they don't want to give up. There are all kinds of easements. We want to present many different options to landowners who may be looking for more affordable taxes while preserving the land."

Because of her love of the outdoors, Albright wants to get the message across that she is not anti-development; only anti-irresponsible development.

"Too often, a developer comes here from some remote place, knowing nothing about the land, who lives here, and what life is like for us. The developer buys a huge chunk of land, chops it up into all these smaller pieces, sells it as quickly as possible, and leaves. We want people to know there are other landowners - and sellers - who aren't like that. We're not against development, as long as it's done responsibly."

Albright said one agency her company likes to deal with on easements is the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, who publishes "Bugle" magazine. In the fall issue of Bugle, author Hal Clifford outlines land scarcity in his article, "Losing Colorado?"

"During the 1990s alone, Colorado added a half million people to its population," says Clifford. "That's more than the entire population of Wyoming." Clifford says wildlife habitat, so crucial to the balance of people and nature, is being encroached on at an alarming rate, and that puts the simplest uses, like hunting, on the "endangered" list.

Rather than developing land so vital to wildlife, Rincon supports the idea of developing land already set aside as residential. Broker Associate Suzy Smith said it's very easy to help people see that in Mineral County, as the average buyer doesn't need a huge plot of land to achieve their dreams of the sprawling west. "We have both ranches and residentials, but for most people, once they understand how Mineral County is set up, that's it's 96% Forest Service Land, they decide to go with residential property."

"It's a big backyard...and a lot of people are delighted when they find out they can enjoy all it has to offer without buying it. We're never going to get rick doing that. But then, there are a lot of ways to be rich."

Like other Rincon staffers, Albright is an avoid outdoorswoman. "We want out work-style to support our lifestyle," she said.

And Albright, through research, found the right development, with the right buyer, to prove what she believes about the big backyard is true. Herb Williams bought Moonshine Mesa, south of Creede, and with Rincon's help, re-plotted what he found there. "It was right under our noses all the time," Albright said. "It's been there since 1948, a development on Deep Creek Road, zoned residential. It has all these little lots on the plat, but Herb went to the county, re-did the subdivision to form new, larger lots. They'll go up for sale around April 1."

The Moonshine Mesa area, which borders Forest Service land and has spectacular views of Creede, offers one-and-one-half acre lots for around $19,900. Albright said it's exactly the kind of "big backyard development" she wants to be known for.

Along with Smith, Rincon has added two other jobs to a job-stressed county. Rincon opened its doors last spring after Albright amicably left the employ of her good friend, Alice Lenich, owner of Colorado Mountain Realty in South Fork. She has owned - or has worked in - a variety of local businesses for more than 22 years. She cites "a strong faith in God, with family as a priority" as motivating factors in her life.

Rincon will sponsor a meeting soon for landowners to network with various agencies that will help establish whatever type of conservation easement they might be looking for. For more information, contact Rincon during regular business hours.

By Suan Baxter, Staff Writer

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