Colorado Conservation Exchange

A Colorado where rural and urban communities join to enhance the natural resources, wildlands, and agricultural areas upon which our quality of life depends.

To create a watershed investment fund through which community members support land stewards who conserve and enhance nature's ability to provide clean and abundant water, healthy food, productive soils, carbon storage, wildlife habitat, and inspiring open spaces for all community members to enjoy.

Our Approach
The Exchange will be a connector between beneficiaries who want to manage business risk or support watershed improvements with stewards whose practices can improve the provision of Nature’s Benefits.

How the Exchange Works
The Exchange identifies priority places for restoration and best practices for enhancing those places in our watersheds. Local businesses, individuals, or organizations who have a need for benefits like improved water quality invest into the Exchange’s watershed investment fund. The Exchange then matches the funders with forest stewards, ranchers, or public land managers who can implement new, expanded or improved practices on their lands. A credible third party monitors projects, including measurement, reporting and verification that practices have resulted in benefits such as improved water quality. The Exchange in turn reports to the funders and then makes payments to the land stewards.
The Exchange is now in the Program Design & Proof of Concept stage, with demonstration projects planned for implementation in 2016 through 2017.   In addition, the infrastructure for the Exchange, including operation procedures, certification procedures and tools to measure ecological benefits and returns on investment, is being developed.

Working Group Members


Reports and Documents



The Colorado Conservation Exchange is currently supported by donations and grants.  We are thankful to our past and current supporters including:

Ed Warner, New Belgium Brewery, Community Foundation, two anonymous donors, The Nature Conservancy, Northern Colorado Food Incubator, Sylvan Dale Ranch, the Center for Collaborative Conservation, Colorado State University


Contact Info

For more information on the Colorado Conservation Exchange, contact:

Heather Schinkel, Director

970 491-6562