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San Juan Land Alliance to host seminar and picnic

What is the value of open land?

Southwest Land Alliance (SLA), a local nonprofit organization, has been dedicated to preserving open space and ranch lands for over 29 years through the use of agricultural and conservation easements. But, as with many nonprofits, SLA has felt the effect of the slump in our current economy.

Many people believe that foundations and large corporations donate the bulk of money nonprofits generate, but, in fact, they only account for approximately 15 percent of total funds. The majority of funding to nonprofits such as SLA comes from middle- and working-class families — “grassroots” memberships. Nonprofit organizations could not exist without their grassroots members.

The SLA invites you to attend our two upcoming summer events, both of which will be held at the East Fork Ranch on Aug. 28.

Saving the Ranch is an easement seminar to be held from 1 to 4 p.m. This is an opportunity to learn the basic facts about easement donation from professionals in the field and from the SLA board members. It will be an informative and informal session to learn what easements are, how they work and how they benefit you.

The seminar will be followed by the SLA annual picnic and fund-raiser from 5 to 7:30 p.m., with dinner and live entertainment provided. (Please bring your own picnic chairs.) Here will be the opportunity to further question SLA’s work, see what the group has accomplished and, of course, mingle with friends and family.

For directions to the East Fork Ranch, located on E. U.S. 160 in Pagosa, call Dennis Schutz at 264-6974, or Penny Holmes at 883-5394.

SLA cannot continue to save open lands in Archuleta County without our community’s support. We hope to see you there.