Tuesday, December 8, 2009 , 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.,
Boyd Lake Room, Larimer County Courthouse Office Building, 200 West Oak Street, Fort Collins, Colorado
Dave Coulson, Chair
Mark De Gregorio
Barry Lewis, Vice Chair
Gary Buffington, Natural Resources Director
Dan Rieves, Visitor Services Program Manager
Debra Wykoff, Business Operations Manager
Mark Caughlan, Horsetooth District Manager
Chris Fleming, Blue Mountain District Manager
The, December 8, 2009, meeting of the Parks Advisory Board was called to order by Chair Dave Coulson, at 5:30 p.m. The minutes of the November 10, 2009, meeting were approved.
BOARD MEMBER REPORTS
Public comments on permit pricing structure
Dave Coulson reported that he attended the public hearing on park permit increases for 2010. Two members of the public were there to comment. One comment was that the second vehicle permit ($40) costs more than the first permit for Senior Vehicle Permit ($35.) He also suggested that we should consider discounted use for seniors on weekdays.
Russ Fruits heard a discussion of making the cost of permits or park use more accessible to low income families – maybe a free day, or a low cost park area or something similar.
Gary suggested that these types of permit issues be discussed at a planned time in the year (June for annuals; September for camping)
Carter Lake Marina license
Linda Knowlton thinks the Board made a very serious error last month in approving a 10-year license for the Carter Lake Sail Club, because the RMP and Master Plan both state that our policy is to phase out exclusive uses, and this action is in violation of that policy. Linda stated that this should be brought back for another vote. The impetus to get away from exclusive, private uses is the right thing to do, and is a national trend, as illustrated by Ken Burns’ series on the national parks. She doesn’t want this to become an issue during the sales tax extension.
Gary Buffington assured the board that he will hold off on taking the license to the Commissioners for approval until he hears from Reclamation and from the County Attorney.
Dan Rieves reported that preliminary feedback from Reclamation is that the license would be ok if it reads “five years, renewable for another five years.”
Mark DeGregorio stated that we shouldn’t have a policy on the books if we’re not going to follow it. It can be an embarrassment if someone in the public raises that issue. If it’s a bad policy, get rid of it. But don’t violate it while it is on the books.
motions to change the former action, Dave stated that it will be left to Gary
to consult the County Attorney and make a decision.
PUBLIC COMMENT: None
Events for December. See website http://www.larimer.org/naturalresources.
§ On December 10, the Natural Resources holiday party for all advisory boards will be held from 6pm - 9pm in the Champion Executive Club at The Ranch.
S TANDING AGENDA ITEMS:
Park District updates and Parks Master Plan Implementation Progress report –Dan Rieves, Visitor Services Manager; Chris Fleming, Blue Mountain District Manager; and Mark Caughlan, Horsetooth District Manager.
§ In 2010, there will be limited big game hunting on Red Mountain. The Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) big game limited license drawing starts in February and the results will be announced in June. For Red Mountain, applicants will fill out an application with a $10 fee, for up to 3 different permits (bull elk, cow elk, and bucks.) Then the seven winners must also apply for the CDOW license and participate in that drawing. Unit 9 is entirely private land, and has been under-subscribed for the past 10 or 12 years. So anyone who wins our drawing is likely to draw the license from CDOW. There will also be a pre-hunt meeting with our staff to discuss the parameters of the hunt. Thus, the hunter who gets our permit will pay far less than others hunting on private land, where typically very high fees are charged. CDOW wants to see our tag number increase to 20 in the future. Gary noted that CDOW contributed $1 million toward the purchase of Red Mountain; hence their vested interest in hunting on the property.
§ ANS restrictions on boat access since October have resulted in a number of complaints.
§ Chad LaChance: One problem has been that Boyd Lake is allowing boaters to leave their tag in a drop box and go on the lake without inspection. But they can’t do that at our lakes.
§ Dan: Unfortunately, that is prohibited by the state ANS regulations; we hope that will change by next season.
§ Blue Mountain Sr. Ranger position will be advertised soon.
§ There have been problems with frozen pipes at the Hermit Park (HP) office, due to inadequate insulation.
§ 4 of 5 new restrooms are in place at HP.
§ Tomorrow the Reserve America reservation system goes live. The transition process has been very challenging and slow.
§ We are looking at point of sale system options for Hermit Park and the Estes campgrounds for next year.
§ Construction is being planned for the Blue Sky trailhead in the spring.
§ Work has begun on the swim beach projects. Fill will be added to expand picnic facilities, and the slope will be reduced. The South Bay group use facility will be moved to the swim beach.
§ The shower houses generated about $10,000 in revenues this year during the one month that they were open for use.
§ The shower house at Carter Lake Eagle Campground was slated to be a winter project. But a leach field will be required; and finding a suitable site for that is proving difficult due to the rock. There is no electrical to that site, which will also be difficult. Alternate sites are also limited – the entrance to Eagle Campground is a possibility, but not aesthetically pleasing.
§ Utility requirements may make it not feasible to put a shower house at South Shore at Carter Lake.
6:30 DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Big Thompson Public Access – property status.
Charlie Johnson is working on contracts
with the various landowners involved in the Drake area.
Fourth Quarter Department Business Activity
§ Gary shared this list as an example of all the many things on his plate, and being addressed by the department.
6:40 ACTION ITEMS:
Estes Valley Campground Partnership-Final Contract approval and recommendation – Gary Buffington
Board comments with staff response included:
2010 Regulations – Proposed Changes
explained some of the reasons for regulation changes: Something new arises or
too many exceptions are being made to a regulation, indicating that a change in
policy is needed. For off-season camping, it makes no sense to turn people
away who want to stay longer.
Meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
Dave Coulson, Chair
FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:
Next regular meeting: January 12, 2009, Bison Visitor Center, 1800 South County Road 31, Loveland, CO