Loveland Bike Trail
 

LARIMER COUNTY OPEN LANDS ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

MINUTES

Thursday, April 28, 2005 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Loveland Library Multipurpose 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

Peter Kast

Bob Streeter

Jim White

Ted Swanson

Bill Newman

Jean Carpenter

Sue Sparling

 

 

Staff

Meegan Flenniken

Jerry White

K-Lynn Cameron

Charlie Johnson

Gary Buffington

 

 

 

 

Absent: 

Lori Jeffrey-Clark

Duane Pond

Eric Hamrick

 

 

Chair, Peter Kast called the meeting to order at 5:20 p.m.

 

Bob Streeter motioned to approve the minutes of February 2005; seconded by Sue Sparling.  Sue Sparling motioned to approve the minutes of March 2005; seconded by Bob Streeter.  Both motions passed unanimously.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

No public comment

 

INFORMATION ITEMS

·  On Friday, March 25, the 1st Annual Small Grants Award Ceremony and Silent Auction was a success.  With over 100 people attending we raised $3,300 for the Blue Sky Trail and advertised the Small Grants Program to a new audience.

·  April 4th, OLAB and Staff had a work session with the County Commissioners to give an overview Open Lands Program.

·  The Soderberg Trailhead was dedicated on Saturday, April 9, 2005.  Over 100 people attended and the Soderberg family was there in force with Virginia as spokesperson.  The American Society for Civil Engineers was recognized for their contribution to the project as were the Friends of Larimer County Parks and Open Lands.

·  The “Conservation Easements and Tax Credits”, work session with the County Commissioners was held April 25.  Mike Strugar of the Conservation Resource Center and Kris Larson of the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts led a discussion with the BOCC, members of the Open Lands Advisory Board and Rural Land Use Board regarding the Colorado Tax Credit Program and conservation excellence.

·  A field trip was scheduled to Eagle’s Nest with the Board for Friday, May 13 in the afternoon.  Jean, Sue, Bob and Bill will all attend.  Another field trip will be set for media.

·  Over 100 applications were received for the vacant Resource Specialist I position.  Interviews will be held May 9.

·  The membership roster for the OLAB was passed around and updated at the meeting.

·  Subcommittee for the Pleasant Valley Trail was established to look at the remaining sections of trail that need to be acquired/eased for completion – members include Jean & Jim.

·  Preview of the Blue Sky Trail with Meegan and K-Lynn for OLAB and the Fort Collins Trails Subcommittee 9 am -1 pm May 17th.  Brian Hayes, Peter Kast & Sue Sparling will attend.

 

BOARD COMMENT

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

 

PRESENTATION

§  Fred Quartarone, Colorado Division of Wildlife, gave and update on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Management activities on Parks and Open Lands Properties over the past several years. 2005 was the 4th year the DOW conducting CWD management activities on Larimer County Parks and Open Lands properties.  Goal of CWD management is to reduce disease prevalence and distribution by conducting herd-scale reductions.  Two hotspots in Larimer County Area – Little Thompson and Red Feather Lakes. The four properties CWD has been managed on include Red-tail Ridge (in 2005, removed 10 deer with 2 +), Devil’s Backbone (7 removed with 3+), Horsetooth Mtn Park (8 removed, 3+) & Eagle’s Nest (no animals removed in 2005).  The overall prevalence rates, not statistically significant because of low samples size, by property over 4 years are at Red-tail Ridge was 22%, Devil’s Backbone 41%, & HTMP 29%.  There have been a total of 97 animals removed with 27 positive (~1/3 positive) over the last 4 years on LCPOL properties.

·  Jean asked how the DOW rationalizes taking uninfected deer.  Fred responded that they are not taking all the deer from the landscape, just a small sample size with keeping the big picture of ultimately managing the disease in mind.

·  Brian asked how the disease started.  There are several theories – spontaneous environmental disease; transfer from scabies in big horn sheep; escaped disease from DOW research pens.

·  Bob asked what species are prone to CWD.  Deer & elk.

·  Mark asked the status of game farms in Larimer County.  There are a few game farms in Larimer County that didn’t take the buy out from USDA.  They are required to quarantine the animals for 5 years before they can transport the animal. 

·  Gary asked if there were other non-lethal methods available yet.  Only tonsil tests are available as a non-lethal CWD testing mechanism and are very expensive.

 

ACTION

§  Fossil Lake PUD CE Amendment – Bob motioned for approval, seconded by Bill and passed unanimously.

 

Discussion Items

·  Citizen Board for Review of Parks Issues:

·  The purpose of this discussion is to brainstorm potential structures for what a citizens board for review of parks issues might look like. We have had three work sessions with staff and the OLAB prior to tonight to discuss concerns related to best outcomes, worst fears surrounding this issue.  A few simple facts described previously by Marc Engemoen as a reference for this discussion.

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. There will be a Board for parks issues.

      3)  There is a lot of integration of parks and open lands. 

  • K-Lynn passed around summaries of the discussions of best outcomes/worst fears from the OLAB and Staff over the past few weeks and the notes were read aloud. 
  • Sue asked how Boulder does their board structure as they have a Parks and Open Space Department recently combined.  Brian says that Loveland Natural Areas and Parks have two separate boards & Fort Collins has two separate boards.
  • Staff developed a spectrum of what the board structure could be – 2 separate boards at one end and a combined board at the other end with several permutations in-between.  The Board was asked to brainstorm additional structures that they see as possible options.
  • Jim suggested a separate Parks Board that would advise OLAB and OLAB would still advise the BOCC.  This would maintain the integrity of the OLAB, Parks may become more of the same level of a board in the future. The question was asked if this would mean that every issue from Parks came to OLAB as well?  No, OLAB would just weigh in on significant or salient issues.
  • Dan Rieves suggested that the citizens advisory committee for the Reservoir Mgmt Plan could be a first start to a Parks Board as a slight variation of Jim’s idea.
  • Bill asked if a Parks Board would have the same level of breadth and depth as OLAB.  Gary thinks it could be in the future depending on the types of issues the BOCC expects a Parks Board to address. Gary envisions issues such as the Reservoir Mgmt Plan, fees, boating carrying capacity studies & concession license renewals from the Parks Program that would be dealt with by a Board.
  • Bob thinks it’s important to look at a Parks Board as an evolutionary process – what is the best sequence in timing to start it up until a potential future merge?
  • Two boards – in addition to an executive committee meeting there would also be assigned representatives “ex-officio members” from one board to the other.  A regular agenda item on each Boards agenda would be for updates from the other program.
  • Peter asked if anyone wanted to fall on their sword over any of the options – Ted, Bob, Peter all don’t like the option of subcommittees based on topics (acquisitions, management, finance, etc.).  Jean likes separate boards with common executive committees because wants to keep integrity of Open Lands as a distinct sect due to voter perception.  Bill likes Jim’s alternative because OLAB can mentor Parks and then in the future maybe move to greater integration.
  • Next steps: Staff will look at all the best outcomes/worst fears up against each of the various proposed board structures to see how they hold up and bring the results back to the Board for further discussion.  The Parks Program will come up with what specific types of issues they would envision coming to a board, frequency of meetings needed and the types of expertise that would be desired of board members.

 

  • Financial strategy for Open Lands
  • Lori reviewed the detailed Management Fund Cash Flow Projections – 2005 to 2018.  Early start up costs were taken into account realizing as we open new areas there are one-time start up costs (vehicles, etc.).  Will come out very close and we’re doing remarkably well to get to the end of the sales tax with our management fund at the current level of service.
  • The Financial Subcommittee Notes on Financial Options and Strategies from February 2005 were reviewed.
  • Lori reviewed the projections for Management and Acquisition/Development Funds, March 2005.  In 2018 we’ll be short in our management fund.  From now until 2012 we have approximately $1 million beyond the dollars already set aside to develop Red Mountain Ranch and Chimney Hollow and acquire several of our top priority project lands.
  • The Financial Subcommittee brainstormed various ideas to leverage the current open space sales tax dollars over the short term and came up with a number of questions for which staff researched answers (see agenda enclosure).  Bob would like to add the question: If we had to reduce management costs 20% overall, what would be the services we would cut?

 

DIRECTORS REPORT

Gary did not have a report.

 

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

 

The meeting was adjourned by a motion from Bob and seconded by Ted and carried unanimously.  The meeting concluded at 7:55 pm.

 

 

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