Tag: open space

$1.7 million grant boosts Rocky Mountain Greenway

greenway map
The Rocky Mountain Greenway will help connect residents if the Denver metro area with the great outdoors. Map courtesy USFWS.

Open space vision aims to connect cities with wildlife refuges, parks and open space

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — A $1.7 million grant from the federal government will help move the metro Denver area closer to the final vision of the Rocky Mountain Greenway, with uninterrupted trails and open space connecting communities in the region.

“The Rocky Mountain Greenway is a shining example of what happens when strong federal, state, local and private partnerships align to take the vision of this uninterrupted trail and open space network and turn it into a reality for the Denver metropolitan area,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement. “Already we’ve constructed important links in the Greenway, and today’s funding will help complete another critical section to connect Denver’s hundreds of miles of trails.” Continue reading “$1.7 million grant boosts Rocky Mountain Greenway”


Colorado: Rocky Flats wildlife refuge land swap finalized

A land trade adding new land to Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge will help connect the federal parcel to regional open space and trail systems.

Expansion helps link parcel to regional open space and trail networks

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Federal, state and local officials have finalized a complex land swap that expand Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge by about 1,200 acres and connect the refuge to regional open space and trail systems.

“Today’s action will significantly expand one of the cornerstones of Colorado’s open space and trails network and will protect the Front Range’s mountain backdrop as one of the state’s crown jewels,” said  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. “I applaud all the partners who have come together with the state and local communities to connect people to the great outdoors and to take this key step toward realizing the Rocky Mountain Greenway as America’s next great urban park.”

The Rocky Mountain Greenway will connect hundreds of miles of trails in the Denver metropolitan area. linking the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Rocky Flats and Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuges, Rocky Mountain National Park, and community trail systems. Continue reading “Colorado: Rocky Flats wildlife refuge land swap finalized”

Preserving the Summit: Nominees sought for outstanding conservation work

The Continental Divide from the Meadow Creek wetlands in Frisco, Colorado. Bob Berwyn photo.

Continental Divide Land Trust set to pick Great Outdoors awards

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The Continental Divide Land Trust is once again looking to honor a handful of locals for their work in preserving of the community’s natural resources and recreational opportunities, with the Great Outdoors awards to presented Nov. 20 at the Silverthorne Pavilion as part of the Summit’s Great Outdoors Celebration event.

Granted every five years, the awards were previously known as the Open Space Honors Awards. They’ve been presented to people who have worked tirelessly to protect open spaces, water resources, recreation, wildlife, and the natural qualities that make Summit County such an awesome place to live and visit. Continue reading “Preserving the Summit: Nominees sought for outstanding conservation work”

Summit County: Public hearing on open space rezoning

Open space zoning is the topic of an Oct. 26 public hearing in Summit County.

Discussion rooted in potential future development pressure on open space

By Bob Berwyn

Update – This hearing was continued to Nov. 23 because of noticing issues.

SUMMIT COUNTY — County commissioners today (Oct. 26) are holding a public hearing on a plan to rezone 1,340 acres of land as open space, including key tracts like the Fishhook parcel, near Summit Cove.

The land in question was purchased by the county as open space, but was never formally zoned as such. The Fishhook property, for example, still carries an agricultural A-1 zoning designation.

The hearing is a followup to a discussion held last spring, when a citizen open space advisory group debated whether some of the parcels need an extra layer of protection against any possible future development pressure. The county’s open space department identified 17 parcels as a starting point for the discussions. The 1,340 acres on the table now represent the outcome, said planning director Jim Curnutte. Continue reading “Summit County: Public hearing on open space rezoning”

Breckenridge: Preservation or recreation?

The BreckConnect gondola crosses over a prized 77-acre wetlands parcel in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Proposals by Vail Resorts to operate the BreckConnect gondola in the summer and to lead guided hikes in Cucumber Gulch have raised questions about how to balance preservation with recreation.

Town advisory group tackles tough questions about summer use in prized Cucumber Gulch wetlands open space parcel

By Bob Berwyn

BRECKENRIDGE — The town’s open space advisory group Monday evening grappled with the tough question of how to balance preservation of valuable Cucumber Gulch wetlands with increased recreational demand in the town.

The discussion stemmed from a request from the town council for input preceding a special April 21 council session, when council members will consider a proposal from Breckenridge Ski Area to operate the BreckConnect gondola in the summer.

The town has designated the 77-acre Cucumber Gulch area as a wildlife preserve. The forests, ponds and wetlands are home to rare boreal toads, calving moose, elk and a great variety of birds. It’s a key wildlife oasis in the urbanized Upper Blue, and with development  on all sides, the issue of recreational use has long been a hot topic. The fundamental town laws that govern management of the area emphasize preservation of natural resource values, balanced with providing opportunities for access and education. Continue reading “Breckenridge: Preservation or recreation?”

Does Summit’s open space need more protection?

Local open space properties are valued by citizens for their natural resource values, as buffers between developed areas and as important scenic view corridors.

County officials trying to plan ahead for the multimillion dollar investment of taxpayer money in open space protection

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Some local open space parcels may deserve an extra layer of protection through re-zoning, restrictive covenants, or even with formal conservation easements, county commissioners said earlier this week during a recent work session.

The informal work session talks were aimed at figuring out a way to give permanent protection for valuable open space parcels that might lend themselves to development. For now, the talks are preliminary, but the concept could gain more traction next week when the commissioners meet with the county’s open space advisory council.

“It’s a concept we’ve discussed in the past,” said Scott Hummer, chair of the open space council, adding that the question of permanent protection has been an ongoing theme for the citizens advisory group.

There’s no immediate threat to any of the county’s 170 open space properties, purchased with a dedicated stream of sales tax revenue approved by Summit County voters in 1993, 1999 and 2003. About 13,500 acres of land has been protected through land acquisitions, conservation easement donations, access easements, and partnerships with other agencies. Continue reading “Does Summit’s open space need more protection?”