Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park
 

LARIMER COUNTY OPEN LANDS ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

MINUTES

Thursday, January 27, 2005 – 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

Jean Carpenter

Peter Kast

Sue Sparling

Bill Newman

Ted Swanson

Eric Hamrick

Lori Jeffrey-Clark

Duane Pond

 

Staff

Jerry White

Kerri Rollins

Meegan Flenniken

Charlie Johnson

K-Lynn Cameron

Charlie Gindler

Ann Montoya

Karen Wagner, BOCC

 

Absent: 

Bob Streeter

Jim White

Chair, Peter Kast called the meeting to order at 5:15 p.m.

 

Sue Sparling motioned to approve the minutes of November 2005; seconded by Duane Pond

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

No public comment

 

INFORMATION ITEMS

·  Congratulations to Kerri Rollins, Charlie Johnson and Meegan Flenniken for each being selected as “Employee of the Month” in 2004!

·  A good time was had by all at the Open Lands Board Holiday Party!  Thanks to Peter and Penny Kast for hosting the party.  The power point presentation of the Open Lands Program 2004 Accomplishments by Meegan and Traci was beyond outstanding!! 

·  The Laramie Foothills: Mountains to Plains project received 100% of its request for $11.6 million from Great Outdoors Colorado on December 1, 2004 to protect over 55,000 contiguous acres rich in ecological, cultural, agricultural and recreational resources.  This project was the only one statewide to receive 100% funding, also receiving the largest amount given in this cycle.  At a media briefing in Fort Collins on December 2, 2004, GOCO officials presented Larimer County, the City of Fort Collins, The Nature Conservancy and the Legacy Land Trust with a “Big” check for $11.6 million.

·  Larimer County and The Nature Conservancy closed on the Red Mountain Ranch on December 30, 2004.

·  Glenn Gibson and Karen Wagner were sworn in as County Commissioners on January 11, 2005.  Glenn Gibson is now the Commissioner liaison to this Board - welcome Glenn!

·  The Friends of Parks and Open Lands and the Soderberg Trailhead was the beneficiary of Whole Foods’ “Community Giving Day” on January13, which raised almost $3,000.

·  Fossil Creek update; Regarding issues with sewer line being gravity fed and smell venting through building.  Sewer Dist has agreed to pump more often to help solve the problem, and eventually they will upgrade the line.  Soderberg; nearing end of project, opening 4th or 5th of February, grand opening is 4/9; Coyote Ridge; trailhead is now upgraded, putting down recycled asphalt as the finishing touch; Pleasant Valley Trail; mitigation is underway, as is bridge construction, scheduled to be finished on time.  Inlet Bay trail; completed except for striping in some places.  Eagle’s Nest is stalled due to contract on road building; spring development and corrals and sheds are complete, trail will be completed in next few months.

·  Eagle’s Hockey at The Ranch on Wednesday, February 9, 2005.

·  The Rocky Mountain Raptor Program will release a rehabilitated bald eagle at Fossil Creek on January 27 at 1pm.  Press releases have been sent out.

·  Kerri distributed information on items that are well received at silent auctions.  She asked the Board to think of things they could donate for the first annual small grants awards and silent auction event scheduled for 3/18/05.

 

BOARD COMMENT

No Board comment

 

PRESENTATION

·  Recognition of Sylvan Dale Ranch - Jerry presented a framed photograph of Sylvan dale to Susan Jessup, her husband David Armstrong, and the Sylvan Dale matriarch, Tillie Jessup.  The Jessups have worked with the Open Lands Program on many conservation easements to protect their ranch, and have donated over $1.3 million in bargain sales.

 

ACTION:

·  Butler Management Plan – Meegan reviewed the specifics of the proposed plan.  The property was purchased in 2003.  A trail running through the property will connect to Rimrock Open Space and is scheduled to open by February 2006.  The Rimrock trail will then connect to Coyote Ridge, Devil's Backbone and Horsetooth Mountain Park.  An underpass to County Road 38E will be built in September 2005.  Drafts of the management plan have been posted on the website for three months for public comment.  Two public meetings have also been held.

Sue motioned to recommend adoption of the Butler Management Plan. Jean seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

·  Parks and Open Lands Education Program Strategic Plan – Ann quickly reviewed the premise for the strategic plan and the contents of it.  Bob suggested she add “experience the Parks and Open Lands” to the vision statement.

Eric motioned to recommend adoption of the Education Program Strategic Plan. Brian seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

·  Open Space and Trail name recommendations: -The OLAB naming subcommittee proposed new names for the Jacoby property and for trails at Fossil Creek.  Subcommittee members are Brian, Eric, Jean and Jim.

·  Jacoby: River Bluffs Open Space was proposed as "River Bluffs Open Space"

·  Fossil Creek Reservoir trails: Sandpiper (west loop), Heron Loop (main loop) and Cattail Flats Loop (east loop)

Sue motioned to accept the new open space and trail names as proposed by the subcommittee. Mark seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

·  Approve Policy for Memorials on Open Lands – Kerri reviewed the format and text changes to the Memorial Policy as needed to fit within the policy template of the Parks and Open Lands Department.  Ted recommended changing #1 on the policy to read as "The Open Lands Advisory Board will not permit new plaques, markers, gravesites or other visible markers on open space properties.  This will not apply to, or have no affect on plaques, markers, gravesites or other visible markers placed prior to acquisition."

Ted motioned to adopt the Memorial Policy as amended. Eric seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

·  Approve Policy for Recognition – Kerri reviewed the format and text changes to the Recognition Policy as needed to fit within the policy template of the Parks and Open Lands Department.

Ted motioned to adopt the Policy for Recognition as amended. Eric seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

·  Posting of Meeting Locations - The Board must approve listing monthly OLAB meeting location announcements in the BOCC weekly published schedule that is posted at the north and south entrances of the Larimer County Courthouse Offices Building at 200 W. Oak Street in Fort Collins.

Eric motioned to approve posting the OLAB meeting location announcements at the above location.  Duane seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

 

DISCUSSION:

·  Open Lands Program Accomplishments for 2004 – K-Lynn reviewed highlights of the 2004 program accomplishments, such as the protection of Chimney Hollow and the Red Mountain Ranch. 

·  Open Lands Program Work Plan for 2005 – K-Lynn reviewed highlights of the 2005 workplan.  It was noted that she must add the Small Grants Program to the plan.

·  River Bluffs Stewardship Plan – Meegan reviewed the difference between a stewardship plan and management plan.  A stewardship Plan is a brief plan outlineing the care of the resource for the property and is done to meet GOCO requirements that a plan be completed within a year of acquisition.  A Management Plan is always done using a rigorous public process, particularly when there will be public use on the property. 

 

Meegan then reviewed the location of the River Bluffs Open Space as east of I-25 and north of CR392.  The Poudre River runs through the open space, and was channelized to the mainstream in the late 1960’s.  Royal Vista Equine has a renewable 5 year lease on the property for grazing.  Stock has been fenced out of the river.  Water taps have been secured at the northeast and northwest corners of the property for watering the stock.  Short term goals are to keep property in agriculture, control weeds.  Longterm vision is to have a trail and trail connection from Greeley to Fort Collins through the property.  This draft plan will be posted on website through mid-February, with adoption at the February meeting.

·  Water and sewer easements across Fossil Creek Reservoir Open Space – Jerry reviewed that Fort Collins Loveland Water and Sanitation District is requesting an easement for a sewer and a water line across Fossil Creek to be installed this July (only sewer, water is future).  They will abandon their current line.  Peter wondered if we could use this as leverage to get some water through Duck Lake.  Jerry said they have and it was not well received.

·  Draft: Division of Wildlife Hunting Lease for Eagle’s Nest Open Space – Charlie G. handed out a draft lease.  This will be our first lease with DOW for hunting, and we will likely have a similar one for Red Mountain Ranch.  Costs for this would be administrative to carry out the lease as well as having an armed ranger during hunting season, it would cost $4120.  DOW came back with a figure of $1,000-2,000.  We may renegotiate to $2,000 based on hunting being limited to archery and muzzle loading.  We want the herd managed for CWD, and other reasons.  We would track the costs the first year, and renegotiate the lease to renew it every year.  Hunting would be weekdays, with limited hours in early morning and late afternoon.  Public notification would be through DOW signs posted that we would approve ahead of time.  Public educational signs on CWD and herd management would also be present.  Press releases and website notification will also occur.  Jean said it will make it difficult for schools to attend during the week, especially in September.

·  Reevaluation of the Parkland fee in lieu of Land Dedication – in 1998 a consulting firm figured out how much land in Larimer County should be set aside for parks and open space.  They determined that $701 per family unit home was assessed as a fee for new houses at the time a building permit is collected, that would be assessed to set aside parklands (for regional community parks).  Neighborhood parks are separate.  The fee yields about $150,000 per year and must be used on lands that have public access.  Charlie is reevaluating the formula to see if it still works appropriately.  Revaluation results will be presented at a later board meeting.

·  Form a Financial Subcommittee to develop and strategize financial options for the future – This committee will discuss operation and maintenance costs, percentages we are spending in different areas, extending the tax and the correct time to do that, how to raise other money for the program and much more.  Peter, Bob, Bill volunteered and Ted and Eric gave a maybe.  Jim White, absent, was volunteered to participate as well.

 

DIRECTORS REPORT

·  See Gary’s written report included in the packet.  Peter highlighted a few items including the Carter Lake Marina and the proposed north campground, as well as the Big Thompson Parks status.

 

 

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

 

The meeting was adjourned by a motion from Duane.  The motion was seconded by Eric and carried unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

 

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