Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park
 

 

Thursday, October 26, 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

Jean Carpenter

Jim White

Bill Pinkham

Sue Sparling

Bill Newman

Mark DeGregorio

Duane Pond

 

Staff

Glenn Gibson

Kerri Rollins

Meegan Flenniken

Jerry White

K-Lynn Cameron

Charlie Johnson

Ernst Strenge

Gary Buffington

 

 

 

Absent: 

Ben Manvel

Ted Swanson

Bob Streeter

Peter Kast

 

Vice Chair, Sue Sparling called the meeting to order at 4:03 p.m.

 

Jean motioned to approve the minutes of September , 2006.  The motion was seconded by Bill P. (with amendment to change Lori’s name to K-Lynn’s name in the budget discussion section per Lori) and was unanimous.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

None.

 

INFORMATION ITEMS

·  October 27th was Make Difference Day.  Hewlett Packard employees worked on campground projects at South Bay of Horsetooth Reservoir.

·  The Parks Task Force will be meeting on November 9 at the Bison Visitor Center from 5:30 – 8:00.

·  Small Grants Program applications will be due on December 15, 2006.

·  As a result of the Healthy Forests Initiative project at Horsetooth Mountain Park, diseased trees have been harvested and cut into firewood lengths and offered to the public for free.  This has been overwhelmingly successful.

·  Jill Ozarski, has accepted the position of Executive Director of the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts and Lise Aangeenbrug has accepted the position of Deputy Director of Great Outdoors Colorado.  Diane Gansauer has taken a position at the Division of Wildlife.

·  On September 28, staff met with Water Supply and Storage to talk about the Larimer Ditch and the Boxelder Trail.

·  On October 4, 100 employees worked on trails at the Devil’s Backbone at a teambuilding exercise.

·  The 2nd Annual Northern Colorado Birding Fair at Fossil Creek Reservoir Open Space on October 7 was very popular with 700-800 folks attending.

·  Volunteers for Parks and Open Lands were honored at an event at the Rio Grande Restaurant on October 15.  So far this year, over 400 volunteers participated in 200 events totaling over 20,000 hours which is valued at $360,000!

·  The County Commissioners honored members of the County’s 40 Boards and Commissions at an Appreciation Event on October 24.

·  Thursday December 14 is the OLAB Christmas celebration that will be held at Peter’s house if it is completed, if not then possibly at Bob’s. 

 

BOARD COMMENTS: None.

 

INTRODUCTION:

·  Matt Kuehl, Red Mountain Open Space Ranger, introduced himself.  Matt has been a seasonal with Parks and Open Lands in the past, is POST certified and has carpentry experience.  He has been working on getting to know the neighbors at Red Mountain and working with hunters at Eagle’s Nest Open Space as they access the USFS lands.  At Red Mountain he has also been working on misplaced livestock that wander on to the property.

 

DISCUSSION:

·  Dry Gulch/Devil’s Gulch Trail Proposal from the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District (EVRPD) – Stan Gengler, Director and Gary Mathews, Trails Committee.

 

This trail would create a great loop from Devil’s Gulch to the Lake Estes area.  It is estimated as a 7-mile trail.  They are looking for funds to create a plan, complete with a cost analysis, that would research easements, rights of way, etc.  This feasibility study is estimated to cost about $18,000.  They are asking for Larimer County to commit $6,000 towards the study.  Other potential financial partners are the Town of Estes and EVRPD.  The trail would be for non-motorized uses such as hiking and biking and would be a compacted surface trail.

 

Mark asked if they have or if they will approach Sombrero Stables as a partner since they could potentially use it for horse rides. Glenn asked if they have looked at Poll Hill Road as a possible trail connection between Estes and Loveland.  Stan said this route is preferred over a trail down USHWY 34 towards Loveland.  K-Lynn said that at one time the County engineering department was looking at a trail connection along Fish Creek. Bill P asked how the Fish Creek and Devil’s Gulch/Dry Gulch fit in their priorities.  Stan said Fish Creek has been a high priority for quite some time.  It is estimated to cost about $900,000 to complete, and funding that is an issue.  The Devil’s Gulch/Dry Gulch is probably the second highest.  Stan said once this got out of the planning stage, it would likely not be on the ground until at

 

least 2008 or 2009.  Several other questions were asked about other trails and future trail connections in and around Estes Park. 

 

·  Glenn Gibson discussed a positive meeting he attended yesterday with Senator Salazar and Senator Udall regarding the wilderness designation of Rocky Mountain National Park.  Though everyone at the meeting agreed this was important, he got the feeling not much would be done to go forward with the designation.

 

·  State Trails grant proposal for the Duck Lake Trail.  Ernst Strenge, Resource Specialist. 

Ernst reviewed the specifics of this 1-mile trail between County Roads 11 and 13 just south and west of Fossil Creek Reservoir, that would eventually connect to both the cities of Fort Collins and Loveland trail systems.  It is also considered to be part of the Front Range Trail.  The budget for the trail is estimated at $300,000.  The grant request is $150,000 with a match of $150,000.  Mark asked about the County Road 32 re-route and how it may affect this project.  K-Lynn said this trail crosses 32 west of this re-route if and when it may happen.  Ernst passed a map around showing the trail and its future connections. 

 

ACTION:

·  Letter of Support for the State Trail Grant proposal:

Jean suggested supporting substitute “important” with “vital” in the opening sentence. 

Jim motioned to support the letter to State Trails with the change.  Bill P. seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

 

·  Election of Officers –

Sue nominated Peter as President.  All were in favor.

Jean nominated Sue as Vice Chair.  All were in favor.

 

DIRECTOR'S REPORT:

Parks Master task force committee plan met this afternoon for planning purposes.  Draft alternatives will be presented in November/December and will be open for public comment.  EDAW is doing a good job.  Now they are looking for funds to implement about $50 million in projects over the next several years.  Priority projects include the Carter Lake marina building, showers and flushing toilets at the reservoirs, and renovated camping and trail access at Pinewood Reservoir.  A rowing club has also approached staff regarding opportunities on the reservoirs.  Process will be complete in January or February.  Then, a Parks Board will be chosen, likely from existing task force members.  An Executive Committee will be chosen from both that Board and the OLAB that will meet quarterly and talk about Department issues. 

 

Gary thanked all the board members for their volunteerism.

 

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, Jim seconded the motion.   

 

The meeting was adjourned by a motion from Bill at 6:00.  The motion was seconded by Sue and carried unanimously. 

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