Maggie Hanna – What Exactly is a Conservation Easement Anyway?

Maggie Hanna is the Director of External Relations at the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust. New Agrarian Program Colorado Manager Taylor Sanders has a conversation with Maggie, which helps us understand what conservation easements are, why they matter in the West, and she shares some of the rewarding aspects of being involved in conserving vast landscapes in her home state.


Music attribution:

Wanderlust by Scott Buckley |
Music promoted by
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Show Notes:

00:53 Taylor Sanders introduces the episode with Maggie Hanna, Director of External Relations at the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust and the main topics for the episode: what it’s like working for a land trust, what exactly are conservation easements, and Maggie’s work on mental health in the farming and ranching community.

01:25 Maggie’s introduction

02:27 Maggie introduces the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) and defines conservation easements (a tool that eliminates the development right on a piece of property, helping to ensure that the land stays in agricultural production)

05:52 How conservation easements are valued and how they can be used as tools in different ways

08:34 How the increasing value of land affects conservation easement work

12:07 The most rewarding and most challenging parts of Maggie’s work with conservation easements

18:02 Maggie’s background – growing up on a cow/calf operations and starting to work for CCALT

19:52 CCALT’s tagline: “from one generation to the next”, and the personal meaning that it holds for Maggie

21:12 Skills and experience that can help prepare someone for a career at a land trust

24:12 Maggie’s work in rural mental health 

27:35 The things in agriculture that bring Maggie excitement and hope right now

29:53 Finding satisfaction in the little tasks on the ranch

32:22 Learn more about CCALT, or follow them on Instagram or Facebook

32:50 Job announcements: Apricot Lane Farms’ apprenticeship program, in Moorepark, California. Applications for the 2022 season of Quivira’s New Agrarian apprenticeship program open on November 1st! Applications close on December 15th. To learn more about the program, reach out to us at 

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