Billionaire Louis Bacon's donation of a nearly 77,000-acre conservation easement has led to the establishment of the Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced on Friday. Here are the details.
* The 77,000 conservation easement is located on billionaire Louis Bacon's 81,400-acre Thinchera Ranch in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains that border the San Luis Valley.
* Bacon has also pledged a perpetual conservation easement on the adjoining 90,000-acre Blanca Ranch, for what will become -- upon finalization later this year -- the largest donation ever to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
* Bacon, who describes himself as a lifelong conservationist, environmental pilanthropist and outdoor sportsman, stated that he worries that if important landscapes in this country are not protected from development, "future generations will grow up in a profoundly different world."
* According to the Department of the Interior, Trinchera Blanca Ranch is the largest, contiguous, privately owned ranch in Colorado. The ranch extends to the top of Blanca Peak, which is one of the highest in the state at 14,345 feet above sea level.
* The Sangre de Cristo mountain range is the longest mountain chain in the United States, the Department of the Interior stated.
* A Colorado Open Lands easement agreement was already in place on the property, according to the Department of the Interior, and that agency will jointly monitor the conservation efforts there with the Fish and Wildlife Service.
* The Department of the Ineterior's conservation agenda was established by President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative and seeks to form voluntary partnerships with private landowners.
* U.S. Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado stated that Bacon's donation "reflects the first-of-its kind partnership in this part of Colorado, where a private landowner and a federal agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and a nonprofit land trust have made a shared commitment to the conservation of one of the most pristine private landholdings in the southern Rockies."
* According to a June, 2012, report in Forbes, Bacon -- the founder of hedge fund Moore Capital Management -- sought to prevent solar transmission power lines from going across Trinchera Ranch. That battle ended last year when energy company Xcel determined that not enough power was being generated in the area to warrant the lines.
* Bacon's net worth as of March 2012, was $1.4 billion, Forbes reported.