Fundamentally, the MHCP is a two-tiered system: While adoption of the Land Use Plan will initially yield a substantial threshold of protection, full implementation of the MHCP can achieve significant enhancements through intensive site analysis and planning. The degree of Mountain Tract protection afforded by the plan may not prevent all disturbance of all species, but will protect essential wildlife populations, significant habitat and the long-term viability of sensitive species. Micro-level protection for such elements as wildlife migration trails, roosting sites, and bedding areas, for example, can be accomplished as Foundation staff and grantees apply the technical portions of the MHCP in their due-diligence and planning of a particular site.
Accordingly, to fully implement the MHCP, TCF recommended that the Foundation should pursue a layered strategy. The first step, included executing a conservation easement over the entire tract reflecting the range of uses set forth in the Land Use Plan. The “master” easemen provides a baseline of resource protection while retaining flexibility for the Foundation and its prospective grantees for future planning and development. The second step entails executing a detailed conservation easement at the time a grant is made, restricting the property to the site plan and conditions of the grant. This “specific” easement cites the protection and development measures yielded by the MHCP site- planning process. The two easements, in turn, achieve the general and the specific, thereby realizing the promise of deliberate long-term planning for the Mountain Tract.
Regional planning and mitigation requires collaborative efforts with multiple stakeholders, as the Mountain Tract is home to numerous active spiritual and educational centers, all hemmed in between the growing Baca Grande subdivision to the West, the US Forest Service lands to the East, and Baca Wildlife Refuge to the West. MI&C partners for cooperative working relations, in developing the culture that will ensure the multi-generational, large landscape scale, natural resource conservation legacy intended in the Conservation Easements in perpetuity. MI&C is also a Community Service Provider with the CO Dept. of Probation.