A Colorado Natural Area

The Colorado Natural Areas Program

The Colorado Natural Areas Program (CNAP) was established in 1977 by the Colorado state legislature. The program works with state agencies and private landowners to locate, recognize and protect unique and rare natural features of statewide significance.


There are currently around 80 sites in CNAP protecting more than 150 rare, threatened or endangered species, habitats and unique geological features.

A Pioneering Property

We applied for entry into the program in 1983 and were confirmed into the program in December of that year by then Governor Richard Lamm. Our home ranch north of Boulder, Colorado was one of the earliest properties to be designated a Colorado Natural Area and we're one of the few privately owned properties in the program. We're proud to have been in on the ground floor of this pioneering program and hope to see it continue to grow.


Rare Plants & Unique Geology

The Colorado Natural Areas Program recognizes our property both for the extremely rare plant species, which exist in a unique type of habitat found on the shale hillsides of the property, as well as a unique geological feature known as a “drape fault” whereby the cliffs on the north side of the property dive down under the river and then rise again to form the valley wall on the other side.

Conservation Strategies

While the geology on the property doesn't really need day-to-day protection, the rare plants do. We work closely with CNAP to implement grazing management plans, fencing strategies and the like so that these rare species and habitats can be preserved for future generations.

We see our membership in the Colorado Natural Areas Program as the keystone in our stewardship efforts.