The Trust for Public Land (TPL) reports that 26 conservation measures supported by TPL in the 2020 election were approved by voters, amounting to nearly $3.7 billion in funding for land conservation, parks, climate resiliency and habitat.  Four of these ballot measures were located in the Rocky Mountain region in Colorado and Montana.

In Colorado, three separate ballot issues were approved by voters:

Ballot Issue 1A in Adams County permanently extended the existing Open Space Sales Tax (a 1/4% sales tax benefitting open space programs such as parks, open space and trails).  Since its approval in 1999, the existing sales tax has been used to invest more than $212 million in parks and open space across Adams County.

Ballot Issue 7A was approved by voters within the Colorado River Water Conservation District (Colorado River District), a 15-county West Slope regional district, to create a new property tax to maintain river water levels for fish, wildlife and recreation and to protect water supplies for farmers and ranchers as well as drinking water for Western Slope communities.

Measure 2A in the City and County of Denver was approved to increase sales tax by 1/4% to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution and adapt to climate change.  The dedicated funding should also maximize investments in communities of color, under resourced communities and communities most vulnerable to climate change.

Montana voters approved Initiative I-190 which legalized recreational marijuana and created a sales tax which will fund land conservation and other Montana special revenue accounts.

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Photo of Melinda Beck Melinda Beck

Melinda Beck is a real estate and land use attorney who has more than two decades of experience.  Melinda’s conservation law expertise includes the donation and purchase and sale of conservation easements to land trusts and local governments by private landowners throughout Colorado

Melinda Beck is a real estate and land use attorney who has more than two decades of experience.  Melinda’s conservation law expertise includes the donation and purchase and sale of conservation easements to land trusts and local governments by private landowners throughout Colorado and nationally. She represents land trusts and private landowners regarding all issues related to conservation easement transactions and stewardship, including obtaining discretionary approvals and amendments to conservation easements. She is an emeritus member of the Land Trust Alliance Conservation Defense Advisory Council. Melinda has a degree in Economics from Pomona College and a law degree from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law.