Loveland Bike Trail
 

 

Thursday, February 22, 2007 – 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.

 

 
22

 

 

 

 

Present:

Open Lands Board Members:

Brian Hayes

Bob Streeter

Jean Carpenter

Peter Kast

Sue Sparling

Ted Swanson

Bill Pinkham

Ben Manvel

Duane Pond

Mark DeGregorio

 

Staff

Gary Buffington

Kerri Rollins

Meegan Flenniken

Charlie Johnson

K-Lynn Cameron

Jerry White

Jacob Wells

Glenn Gibson

 

Absent: 

Jim White

Bill Newman

 

Chair, Peter Kast called the meeting to order at 5:11 p.m.

 

Peter asked for approval of the December minutes.  Duane motioned to approve the December minutes.  Jean seconded and the motion passed unanimously. 

 

Peter asked for approval of the January minutes.  Kerri provided copies of an email response from Jim Reidhead regarding a question from Bob Streeter that will supplement the minutes.   The board reviewed the email.  Bob commented that at the bottom of page 3 there was incorrect information regarding the Rural Land Use Program and 40 year easements.  Kerri said she would get with Jim Reidhead to correct the minutes.  Duane moved to approve the minutes with the correction.  Ted seconded and the motion passed unanimously. 

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

No public comment

 

INFORMATION ITEMS

·  Larimer County closed on the 1362-acre Hermit Park property in the Estes area on February 15, 2007.  Working with Agilent to acquire this terrific property for the public has been exciting!  At the same time the timing for the acquisition has required a huge team effort.  Hermit Park closed but its not the end of the story, the loan to Open Lands needs to be paid back and staff and volunteers from Friends of Parks and Open Lands are working diligently on it.

·  The Parks and Open Lands Annual Small Grants Awards and Auction Fundraiser benefiting Hermit Park will be held on March 9.  Kerri challenged Board members to invite and bring at least 2 friends.

·  58 applications were received for the Open Lands Technician I position.  Interviews will be 3/5 and 3/6.

·  Ernst had a baby girl named Marina - congrats to Ernst!

·  Parks and Open Lands Visual Artist of the Year subcommittee is Bill Pinkham, Jean, and Peter.

·  Jerry, K-Lynn, Charlie J & Gary went to the CCLT conference and learned about tax credit issues and legislative issues. 

·  The Parks Task Force will meet on February 27 at the Courthouse.

 

BOARD COMMENT: None

 

PRESENTATION

·  Jason LaBelle, Doctor of Archaeology, Colorado State University (CSU) – Jason presented the findings of their study that took place at Red Mountain Open space (RMOS) and Soapstone last summer.  The study was funded in part by the Colorado Historical Society.  Jason will focus on findings at Red Mountain, but to set the context, he made sure everyone was familiar the Lindenmeir Site over on Soapstone Natural Area.

 

Jason discussed past archaeological surveys performed at the Lykins Site, during the construction of the Boxelder Dam.  CSU also performed surveys on the Roberts and Meadowdale ranches in the 1970’s.  They are starting to piece together some information gathered at the various sites.    Red Mountain has lots of water and drainages and thus provided a good home-base for prehistoric people.  A little over 70 sites were documented at RMOS this last summer.  They did not run out of sites, they ran out of time.  Hence the study will continue in summer of 2007, funded again in part by the Colorado Historical Society.  Red Mountain and Soapstone have an abundance of Prehistoric Sites.  There are also Historic Sites, Prehistoric Isolates, and Multicomponent Sites.  Folsom points were found on Red Mountain.  Potential Clovis points were found on Soapstone, as well as RMOS.  Most of the items found on RMOS were dated 2000BC – AD250.  Jason also discussed stone johnnies and cairns left behind by sheepherders, etc.  Historically, some stone piles were used as burial cairns so they must be careful when exploring.  Currently there is only one known cairn burial site in Larimer County. 

 

Overall the RMOS sites are large in terms of flake assemblage and number of tools.  They appear to have had more residential use.  There are many areas of shallow burial of these artifacts. 

 

Future: more research and figure out the protection of significant sites and select sites for public interpretation as well as provide stewardship for future generations. 

 

Mark asked Jason’s opinion in the larger context of Colorado what is the significance of this site.  He said Lindenmeier is the rarest of the rare.  Items found at RMOS are certainly not of utmost significance but we can still learn from them.  Lykins is likely the most significant on RMOS, but it is not on the federal register (as is Lindenmeier) so it does not have federal protection.  Bob asked about opportunities for public volunteers to work under the archaeological crews to help garner support for protecting open spaces and open space programs.  Jason said they have already invited members of the Colorado Archaeological Society to participate, but they have limited to that membership as the members must honor the ethical commitments of not removing artifacts from the field.    Peter asked about the possibility of putting a museum or other building up there.  Jason said he is not a big advocate of that unless it is at Lindenmeier because it is a story that needs to be told and it will attract people from around the world.  They have not gone as deep into the ground at Red Mountain as they have on the Roberts and Soapstone areas to find more significant artifacts.  K-Lynn added that the Fort Collins museum is looking at expanding a new building part of which will be dedicated to telling the story of the findings up in the Laramie Foothills.

 

ACTION:

·  Small Grants Committee – Bill P, Sue and Jean.  Sue reviewed the Small Grants process.  Every year the Board designates $10,000 to give in small grants to the community.  Grants are typically due in December.  The committee does site visits to each project, then grades them against selected criteria.  If the application did not meet the criteria, it was not scored.  Sue gave some examples of projects that did not meet the criteria, and those that were not recommended for funding. 

 

Sue reviewed the enclosure that shows the six projects that were recommended for funding.    The subcommittee is recommending granting $8,500 of the $10,000 available. 

 

Projects recommended for funding are:

·  The Cottonwood Glen Wetlands, Bird Sanctuary and Butterfly Garden - $1,964

·  Exotic Species Elimination Project - $1,760

·  Coho Run Wildlife Habitat Improvement - $856

·  The Pond Project - $1,990

·  Earth Day at Registry Ridge - $1,000

·  Peninsula at Horseshoe Lake HOA Habitat Viewing Area - $1,000

 

Duane motioned to approve the committee's recommendations. Ben seconded and the motion passed unanimously.  Bob recused himself from voting because of his affiliation with Trappers Point HOA.

 

DISCUSSION:

·  Parks Master Plan – Gary reviewed the priority system used with the Task Force.  Projects were broken into Priority 1 or Priority 2.  He reviewed all Priority 1’s listed in the spreadsheet he handed out.  Camper services buildings are a top priority as reflected from multiple customer surveys.  Gary said facilities such as these would allow us to raise fees to help garner financial support.  Charlie asked what Title 28 is in the Potential Funding Sources column.  Gary said it is a matching program from the Bureau of Reclamation.  Overall the cost of all projects is about $10 million in improvements over 10 years.  There are about $1.8 million in Priority 1 projects, including the new marina building at Carter Lake.  Gary says it is feasible to accomplish these projects in the first year.  Gary also drew attention to an item on page 1 that outlines the construction of a new group use events center.  It has a hefty price tag but he feels it would accommodate weddings, reunions, business meetings, etc.  Staff will need to do a business plan/feasibility study before implementing this item.  Ben said that Hermit Park could offer a location for weddings, etc also.  Bob asked what % of funds Gary sees coming from the HPOS tax. Gary said the 15% of discretionary dollars are eligible to be spent in these areas, though that fund is fairly well spent at this time.  Bob commented that we have projected those dollars for use by Open Lands into 2018, with $500,000 left over at that time.  Bob commented that it concerns him that the tax dollars are listed here when they have already been allocated elsewhere.  K-Lynn said Lori will be at the March meeting to review the management spreadsheet to see what money might be able to be use for other purposes such as park improvements or other open space purposes.  Bob asked about the transfer of Horsetooth Mountain Park (HTMP) to Open Lands for management.  K-Lynn said once a Parks Board is appointed it is her understanding that these two boards will then discuss the transfer of HTMP.  The timeframe for adopting the Parks Master Plan is April or May of 2007.

 

·  Hermit Park Draft Vision Statement – Meegan said the management process has started for Hermit Park, with Ernst leading the way.  Ernst is already working with Engineering and the County Health Department due to the change from private to public use.  The first public meeting will be sometime in May, with a draft plan developed over the summer and a second public meeting in August.  Final review will be in September with adoption in early October. 

 

Meegan reviewed the specifics of Hermit Park, acreage, facilities and significant natural resource areas.  For the GOCO grant the property was broken into 25% of park areas and 75% of open space areas.  Meegan said the park will be supported by park fee revenues, so the number of cabins and campsites will remain the same though some will be relocated out of the significant wetland area.  Bob asked where the dollars for the renovations (water, sewer, propane stoves) will come from it this is not a turn-key operation.  Meegan said the management plan will identify what changes we need to make before opening.  K-Lynn said the park will likely be opened gradually in phases.  Costs would come from Open Lands and lottery funds.  Open Lands' funds would be paid back.    It is also anticipated that revenues from the park will be put towards upgrades to the park. 

 

K-Lynn reviewed the draft vision that was an enclosure in the packet, much of which was dictated by language in the conservation easement. 

 

K-Lynn then discussed the fundraising efforts that are on-going with a motivated, high-powered, volunteer group of former HP and Agilent employees.  There is an "Ask" team, a clerical team, a lunchroom booth team, a website team and many more.  We are getting our arms wrapped around this huge movement that is very exciting.  She discussed incentives for corporate funding.  K-Lynn reviewed the current Recognition Policy, particularly the amount of $1,000 required to get a corporate name on the kiosk.  The volunteer group is recommending it be much higher, like $10,000.  The subcommittee who drafted the policy will meet to discuss this and make a recommendation to the Board.  Naming rights of cabins, etc would take place in the Parkland part of Hermit Park (25%), and not the open space so the need to change the Recognition Policy on that issue is not needed.  K-Lynn said that she also attended the City of Loveland Open Lands Commission meeting last week and they are very interested in being a financial partner in Hermit Park.  They will do a field trip in early March before making a final recommendation to City Council. 

 

Gary said we don’t want to establish use patterns by letting people up on the property now.  We understand the urgency of getting it open, but we only have one chance to do this correctly and we will take the time to make sure the resources are protected. 

 

·  Red Mountain Open Space (RMOS) and Soapstone Natural Area (SSN) Management Plans & Process- Meegan and Daylan Figgs, City of Fort Collins – Sue, Bob, Peter, Jean, and Ben are on the subcommittee for this plan.  Meegan reviewed a summary of concerns voiced at the public meeting and the management responses to those concerns.  There was some discussion about backcountry camping on a limited basis at Soapstone and the dilemma to offer it with the knowledge that it may be taken away in the future.  Peter commented that the process seemed to really start off on the right foot.  Daylan added that Fort Collins is offering their SSN and RMOS tours to the public again this summer.  K-Lynn said the field trip including the Fort Collins Land Conservation Board and OLAB members needs to be rescheduled.

 

DIRECTORS REPORT

·  There was no report this month as Gary reported on the Parks Master Plan above.

 

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION: There was no executive session

 

The meeting was adjourned by a motion from Duane.  The motion was seconded by Ben and carried unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:03 p.m.

 

Background Image: Loveland Bike Trail by Sharon Veit. All rights reserved.