Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park
 

 

Thursday, May 25, 2006 – 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Loveland Library MP Room

 

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

Jim White

Sue Sparling

Bill Newman

Jean Carpenter

Ben Manvel

Peter Kast

Ted Swanson

Bob Streeter

 

 

Staff

Glenn Gibson

Kerri Rollins

Meegan Flenniken

Gary Buffington

K-Lynn Cameron

 

 

Absent: 

Bill Pinkham

 

 

Chair, Peter Kast called the meeting to order at 5:09 p.m.

 

Duane motioned to approve the minutes of April 27, 2006.  The motion was seconded by Bob with amendment and was unanimous.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

No public comment

 

BOARD COMMENT:

No Board comment.

 

INFORMATION ITEMS

·  June is the 1 year anniversary of both Ernst and Greg with the Open Lands Program! Greg is a Fellow through the Colorado Conservation Trust, who has granted $25,000 for two years.

·  June 2, 2006, we will host a walk-thru of Blue Sky Trail for staff and partners.  OLAB members are welcome to participate.

·  The Annual Open Lands Board and Alumni picnic will be held at the Blue Sky Trail on Saturday, June 3 starting at 10:00 am.  Members of the newly appointed Parks Task Force will also be invited. This is a great opportunity for the two Boards to get to know each other and work together.

·  The Blue Sky Trail dedication will be on Saturday, June 10, 2006 at 10am at Coyote Ridge, Devil's Backbone and Soderberg trailheads. 

·  Bob, Jean and Sue are up for possible reappointment to the OLAB by the Commissioners for their second term.  The decisions will be made at Administrative Matters on 6/14/06.

·  June 16th  12:00 – 4:30 will be the OLAB field trip to Red Mountain Open Space; please RSVP to Meegan if you haven’t already.

·  Mark your calendars for Friday, June 16, 2006 to celebrate the 10 years of the open space sales tax from 7:00-10:00 pm at New Belgium Brewing.  This event will focus on people who worked on the three initiatives and OLAB current and alumni members and BOCC current and alumni members.  In the fall there will be another celebration for landowners and partners.

·  Governor vetoed SB52, Open Space Sales tax exemption, even with the tighter restrictions.

·  Open Lands Advisory Board current members updated list (enclosure)

·  City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program 2005 Annual Report (enclosure)

·  Horsetooth Mountain Park (HTMP) Transfer Proposal (enclosure).  K-Lynn reviewed email memo from Marc Engemoen regarding postponing the transfer of HTMP.  Staff will preserve the work done on different funding options for when discussions resume in the future. 

·  City of Fort Collins Land Conservation and Stewardship Board will be re-scheduling their tour to Red Mountain and Soapstone to July 22.  OLAB was asked to check their calendars.

·  Tour schedules for Red Mountain Open Space and Soapstone Natural Area were handed out.

·  Volunteer opportunities sheet was handed out.

 

DISCUSSION:

·  Regional Trails – Feasibility report and site visits to high priority regional trails. 

K-Lynn wanted to talk about what the Board members who attended the field trips earlier this week saw and thought.  Turnout for the field trips was excellent!  K-Lynn reviewed the ranked prioritization of the 8 trail areas (Poudre River Trail (PRT), Red-tail Ridge, Box Elder Creek, Duck Lake, Big Thompson, Lone Tree, Berthoud, Long View). 

 

Duck Lake trail - Jim thought that because of the tie-in with the Front Range Trail (FRT), and because it is an achievable goal it should remain a priority.  K-Lynn said Loveland has made it a priority to make this connection from their end, and have made the FRT trails a priority.  Our section of Duck Lake is about 1-mile.  Peter said regardless of the FRT that the Duck Lake trail would connect Fort Collins and Loveland.  Jean agreed, it also ties in to the Fossil Creek Trail. 

 

Longview trail - our section is about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ miles long and would go through the Hazalous and Mariposa natural areas.  Platte River Power Authority (PRPA) would donate the land in the corridor that is still unprotected and put a trail in.  OLAB will be hearing more about what PRPA is doing near Longview in partnering with the City and the County.  The pieces are more in place.  Glenn asked how much we are meeting with developers, such as those at Equalizer Lake, to coordinate these things to ensure trails being built by different entities are connected.  Mark echoed what Jim said that Duck Lake should remain a higher priority because of the willing entities involved and because Boyd Lake and Fossil Creek RROS are on either end.  K-Lynn said they are both very feasible, for each there is just one piece remaining.  Bob suggested putting gravel trails down first then, based on use, we come in with concrete later.  K-Lynn said we try to match what our partners are doing, but we would absolutely do that as a first step. 

 

Red-tail Ridge – K-Lynn reviewed the trail easement situation at Red-tail Ridge.  This is proposed as a soft surface trail.  Brian asked how much acquisition needs to be done.  K-Lynn said everything is in place, but trail is not specifically located.  Issues regarding making this connection to Boulder County include the St. Vrain Canal because of large siphon in the canal, Native American sites, etc.  Bill said compared to the other choices it is more remote and would likely receive less use so it is low on his list.  Duane said once Chimney Hollow opens up with a reservoir it will be a bigger draw than this trail. 

 

Berthoud Trail – Jim said it is something with the Heron Lakes development project that just got approved and can potentially be developed by the developer.  It will be important to work with the developer on the connection locations and specifications we need.  We wouldn’t want to lost site of this project if the development didn’t work out, but if the developer can pay for it that is even better. 

 

Lone Tree – goes from the Big Thompson in the Devil's Backbone area to Lone Tree then heads west to Carter Lake and/or Red-tail Ridge.  It is about 12 miles through a fairly unpopulated area.  The City of Loveland Parks is also working on trails in this area, as is their Natural Areas Program through some easements.  Additionally the County has abandoned a road right of way there that has now been dedicated as a trail easement.  It would also be part of the FRT.

 

Boxelder Creek – connects Wellington via the vicinity of the Boxelder Trail to Timnath then over to the Fort Collins area.  Wellington has made this trail a priority.  Larimer County would pick it up near the Kerbel conservation easement.  We are confident we could get the trail almost all the way, particularly if we could work with some of the ditch companies.  Sue thinks there are a lot of uncertainty about getting easements.  Jean said the vision is good and to keep strategizing and communicating with landowners and partners.  Vistas on this trail are spectacular.  Bob dittos what everyone else said.

 

Poudre River Trail – Our section is between Timnath and Windsor and there are a lot of gravel companies to work with in this area.   It is very important for us to get this done because Greeley and Fort Collins are making their parts happen.  Connell gravel company said they would work with us.  Other possibilities are having it go down county roads that are not as busy.   Bill said we should do all we can do to stay on the east side of the river.  Bob agrees that this is a much more superior plan than going along CR5.  Jean said the big gravel trucks make the west side dangerous, the east is also more beautiful.

 

Big Thompson Trail – The new Loveland Sports Complex is in this area, as is some City of Loveland conservation easements and our Kauffman conservation easement.  This is only feasible if the City’s Parks Department is willing to work with us on the Sports Complex area, which they have indicated they could.  At this time Loveland does not have plans to extend their bike path from the High School to the Sports Complex. 

 

Final discussion was re-prioritizing the list.  Particularly drop Red-tail Ridge to a lower rank and move some of the others up, like Longview.  Bob recommended getting the PRT done before focusing on anything else.  K-Lynn said we would inadvertently work on some of the others like Longview, due to PRPA moving forward.  Ben said as long as work on these portions won’t delay the PRT.  Bob agreed. Work on them "opportunisticly", with the PRT being preferable.  Jean asked for a spreadsheet update every month or two.  Ben said significant updates would be sufficient. 

 

ACTION

Red Mountain Open Space Trade evaluation criteria and process –Peter noted that the handout has changed and was enclosed in the packet.  Bob asked why it is now only being limited to Red Mountain.  Peter said because the BOCC asked that it be done here on a trial basis so as not to raise red flags that the county is looking to dispose of open space, which is not what is intended.  Hence the Commissioners wanted the disposition specific to Red Mountain Ranch per the grant agreement with Great Outdoors Colorado.  Adopting this type of criteria would be on a case by case basis.  K-Lynn said we also added areas for more public comment per feedback from the board last month.  She also noted that during negotiations the steps on the flow chart that have been completed previously can be revisited.  Discussion ensued regarding the name of the process, “disposition process”.  Bob suggested calling it a “Trade Process for Red Mountain Ranch” for this particular piece.  Everyone agreed the word disposition should be deleted throughout.  Brian confirmed the LESA process is involved if it is an agriculture piece. 

 

Ted commented that when we are evaluating the prospect of the trade we must also note in "H" and/or "F" what we are gaining with the property to be acquired/traded for.  K-Lynn said that it should be noted in this process that the same process will be done for the property to be acquired.   Peter recommended putting these words in the second sentence in the first paragraph. 

Mark moved to recommend this process, with the changes mentioned above, be adopted by the County Commissioners.  Bob seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

 

DIRECTOR'S REPORT:  Gary reviewed the on-goings of the Parks Task Force. From June-August there will be stake holder interviews and various tours to the reservoirs and parks.  Task Force members received a parks permit to be able to visit these areas on their own.  In August there will be public meetings to talk about various plan alternatives.  Their next meeting will be in September.  Kerri will make sure Sue, Peter and Bob are on the list to receive meeting information.  K-Lynn said Peter was interested in attending a meeting in June regarding funding for the parks program.

 

The meeting was adjourned by a motion from Duane at 6:57.  The motion was seconded by Bob and carried unanimously. 

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION:  (24-6-402(4) (a)C.R.S. Purchase, acquisition, lease, transfer or sale of any real or personal property interest. Duane moved to go in to Executive Session, Ben seconded the motion.   

 

Executive session adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

Background Image: Rocky Mountain National Park by Sue Burke. All rights reserved.