LARIMER COUNTY OPEN LANDS ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

MINUTES

Thursday, March 24, 2005 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Spring Canyon Water District

 

The mission of the Larimer County Open Lands Program is to preserve and protect significant open space, natural areas, wildlife habitat, develop parks and trails for present and future generations.  These open lands provide opportunities for leisure, human renewal and protection of our natural and cultural resources.

 

 
 

 

 

 

 


Present:

Open Lands Board Members:

Brian Hayes

Mark DeGregorio

Duane Pond

Jean Carpenter

Sue Sparling

Ted Swanson

 

Staff

Meegan Flenniken

Kerri Rollins

K-Lynn Cameron

Marc Engemoen

Gary Buffington

Charlie Gindler

 

Absent: 

Eric Hamrick

Bill Newman

Peter Kast

Bob Streeter

Jim White

Lori Jeffrey-Clark

 

The Board had a site visit to the new Soderberg Trailhead at 5:00pm. 

Vice Chair, Sue Sparling called the meeting to order at 6:00p.m.

 

Approving the minutes of February 2005 was tabled till the April meeting as there was not a voting quorum.    

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

No public comment

 

INFORMATION ITEMS

·  The Open Lands Board approved the revised Eagle’s Nest Open Space Education Plan by a poll of Board members following the February Open Lands Board meeting.

·  On Friday, March 25, the 1st Annual Small Grants Award Ceremony and Silent Auction will be held at the New Belgium Brewery.  Proceeds will benefit the Blue Sky Trail.  Board members coming must r.s.v.p. to Kerri and interest is building by the day! 

·  Work Session scheduled with the County Commissioners – An Overview of the Open Lands Program and its Future – April 4 – 10 :00- 12:00 noon.  RSVP to K-Lynn.

·  The Soderberg Trailhead was dedicated to the public on Saturday, April 9, 2005 at 10:00 am.  Guided hikes with our Volunteer Naturalists were offered before and after the dedication. 

·  “Conservation Easements and Tax Credits”, a work session with the County Commissioners, will be presented by Mike Strugar of the Conservation Resource Center and Kris Larson of the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts on Monday, April 25, 2005.

·  The Board of County Commissioners approved a resolution in support of SB174 – County Open Space Sales Tax Exemption.  Commissioner Rennels testified in support of the bill before the House Local Affairs Committee on Tuesday, March 15, 2005.  The Committee forwarded the bill with a 9-1 vote.

·  2004 Annual Reports were included in OLAB members March packets.  They were mailed out to the public in early April.

·  Update on the development of the Pleasant Valley Trail and Eagle’s Nest Open Space.  Charlie said the PVT trail was set back due to some bridgework, but they are moving forward now.  It is scheduled to open in June.  ENOS trail is 95% complete.  Contract work has been set back and will now be completed at the end of April.  A grand opening is expected in June.  A Board site visit will be scheduled at Eagle’s Nest for April or May. 

·  Update on the Division of Wildlife’s CWD Management Program on Open Lands. - Meegan updated the Board on DOW’s Chronic Wasting Disease culling activities on open lands properties.  CWD activities are taking place at Red-tail Ridge, Indian Creek, Devil’s Backbone, and Horsetooth Mountain Park.

·  Fort Collins-Loveland Airport links planning to area’s growth – K-Lynn handed out a news article from the Coloradoan outlining the intention to expand the runway 1,000 feet.  If extended to the north it would impact our Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space.  K-Lynn and Jerry met with airport officials and they say that at this point, it is more feasible for the runway to be extended to the south.

 

BOARD COMMENT

No comments from the Board regarding items not on the agenda.

 

Discussion Items

·  Citizen Board for Parks  - Marc Engomoen led the discussion by outlining the issue that was discussed at the meeting last month.  Since so many Board members are missing this will be an interactive and informal discussion.  Marc outlined a few simple facts about the discussion for review.

 

1)   We have an Open Lands Advisory Board (OLAB) that is a very affective Board that is an integral part of the success of the Open Lands Program.  It serves and important and useful role.

2)   The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) would like that same opportunity with respect to Parks issues.  They feel a sounding board will help resolve some issues through a reality check.  It would also provide the opportunity for the Board to be an advocate for issues presented by staff.  The BOCC has not yet said if that will be a new Board or an extension of duties for an existing Board.  The fact is, there will be a Board for parks issues.

3)   There is a lot of integration of parks and open lands.  They share weed, facilities, volunteer, education and administration staff already.  They share the same issues such as weed treatment, trail building, etc.  Marc said he thinks there will be more integration in the future.  Marc said an issue currently on the table is that there could be an integration of funding sources, such as an extension of the sales tax to include parks.  He said the public doesn’t understand the differences between parks and open lands as much as we do.  They may believe there is no difference between the Devil’s Backbone Open Space and Horsetooth Mountain Park, or Carter Lake and the future Chimney Hollow Open Space.  The terms “parks” and “open lands” are used interchangeably.

 

Jean said in terms of funding it is important to maintain the distinction that they are funded differently, per our mandate in the ballot language.   Marc said that money used to fund projects at the reservoir.  K-Lynn said that 15% of the Help Preserve Open spaces sales tax funds can go to the reservoirs, the long term management fund, or acquisition – it is discretionary.  She said the BOCC has directed the Open Lands Program to put it into management, hence at this time it is not going to fund projects at the reservoir. 

 

The group then broke into groups of two to discuss how might the situation look different 24 months from now, knowing that their must somehow be a board that deals with Parks issues.  Three members of the public who attended because of this agenda item, joined these discussions (Roland Dixon, Steve Foster and J. Carrion).  Discussions should be had that allow for scenarios that you many not necessarily agree with at this point in time.  After that 10 minute discussion we will discuss what we heard to the group.  Individuals reported their best outcomes and worst fears of what a Parks Board may look like in 24 months.  These thoughts were captured on flip charts. 

 

Ted asked how a recommendation from this Board might work.  Marc said the BOCC will look for a recommendation with reasoning behind it.  There might also be a staff recommendation with a different perspective to give the BOCC to consider.  Ted said there are so many alternatives it might be best to give a few recommendations allowing Board members to come to more consensus on what the pro’s and  con’s of various alternatives are.  Marc said that would be a good idea to allow all perspectives to be reviewed. 

 

Outcomes from this discussion will be distributed at the April meeting, after all Board members have had an opportunity to do this exercise. 

 

·  Financial strategy for Open Lands – tabled to April meeting

 

·  Eagle’s Nest Open Space hunting lease – Charlie distributed the draft hunting lease that is still being negotiated.  The next meeting the Board will make a recommendation to the BOCC regarding the lease.  Charlie briefly discussed some naming choices for trails at Eagle’s Nest that the naming subcommittee is yet to discuss.

 

 

DIRECTORS REPORT

No report at this time.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION: Duane moved to go into Executive Session.  The motion was seconded by Ted.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

The meeting was adjourned by a motion from Duane.  The motion was seconded by Sue and carried unanimously.  The meeting concluded at 8:05.