Thursday, June 24, 2004 – 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.








Open Lands Board Members:

Brian Hayes

Mark DeGregorio

Jean Carpenter

Peter Kast

Sue Sparling

Duane Pond

Nancy Wallace

Bob Streeter

Wendell Amos

Eric Hamrick



Jerry White

Kerri Rollins

Meegan Flenniken

Charlie Johnson

K-Lynn Cameron

Charlie Gindler

Gary Buffington

Chris Fleming

Judy Swenson

Traci Ferguson

Adam Birely

Travis Rollins



Lori Jeffrey-Clark

Jim White


Chair, Nancy Wallace called the meeting to order at 5:05 p.m.


Duane Pond motioned to approve the minutes of May 27, 2004; seconded by Nancy Wallace.



No public comment.



§  Open Lands Program received Jane Silverstein Ries Foundation Award from the Colorado Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.  Will be presented at the Annual Garden Tour reception in Denver on 6/27/2004.  Round of applause initiated by Bob Streeter.

§  Larimer County has been awarded $950,000 by GOCO for the Chimney Hollow Open Space project acquisition.

§  “The Laramie Foothills Mountains to Plains Project” a partnership of Larimer County, Ft. Collins and TNC has been invited by GOCO to apply for Godo’s large-scale concept grant program.  OLAB field trip to be scheduled to area on Friday July 16th.  Our match would be $8 million and our existing CE’s in the Laramie Foothills area as well as Ft. Collins’ recent Soapstone Ranch acquisition will count towards a match. 

§  An education workshop on land appraisal will be led by Kevin McCarty for OLAB members 7/22 at 3:00 p.m. immediately before the regular meeting. 

§  Bill Newman (Estes Valley and EVLT) and Ted Swanson (rancher and attorney in N. Larimer County) have been newly appointed to the OLAB.

§  Open Lands Staff held their mid-year retreat on June 22. Looking at 2004 work plan, we are on track with nearly all our projects!

§  Open Lands Board Annual Picnic at Chimney Hollow on Saturday, July 31 from 11-3 p.m.  Hikes and tours will be provided; it will be Nancy and Wendell’s farewell from the Board.

§  Field trips to Pinewood, Flatiron and Carter will be rescheduled to July 23rd at 2:30-4:30 p.m.

§  Guided hikes for July – see handout

§  City of Ft. Collins Natural Areas Annual Report – see handout

§  Devil’s Backbone Management Plan public meeting results – handout of issues and responses from meeting. 

§  Farewell to Nancy and Wendell – the last two original OLAB members leaving the Board.



§  Park Ranger Training (Chris Fleming, Senior Park Ranger):

Chris handed out an example seasonal ranger training agenda.  Generally, training is over a week’s period. Approximately 2 hours are dedicated to the Open Lands Program, Volunteer Program and the Volunteer Naturalists’ work.  Training topics range from departmental policies and paperwork to officer safety and criminal law.  New rangers also are partnered with a full-time ranger for a “shadowing” period.  Judy Swenson, Verbal Judo Instructor for the Ranger Program, described the intent of Verbal Judo and that it is emphasized to the seasonal staff as a method for contacts and handling situations.  Training also includes First Aid and CPR certification as well as basic boat operation for emergency situations.  Special trainings throughout the season may include boat academy, emergency vehicles/flight for life orientation and scenario training. 


Discussion Items

§  Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space Educational Signs

Meegan Flenniken, Resource Specialist, presented the background information about the Fossil Creek Education Plan developed in 2003 - the development of the educational signs being the implementation of this plan.  There are approximately 16 signs total (presented at OLAB meeting on display) for the Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space.  The focus of the signs include bird and other wildlife habitat; maps of the immediate area as well as a regional view; restoration of the shortgrass prairie; why Fossil Creek RROS is a special place; nature writing and setting the tone for the open space; bird/wildlife viewing etiquette and bird species identification and adaptations.  A public open house was held on June 17th from 6-7:30 p.m. and approximately 14 people attended and made comments on the signs.  Packets were handed out at the door and attendees asked to answer 4 specific questions for each sign. Comments are being compiled and edits being made, signs will be installed in mid-October in time for the October 23rd grand opening of this property.  OLAB members filled out question sheets during break to give feedback.


§  Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space and Ft. Collins GMA expansion

At the public meeting regarding how to pay for management costs, the question came up if there should be partnership between Ft. Collins and Larimer County to manage Fossil Creek.  The only discussion about this has been between County and City staff, not beyond.  For the July OLAB we will look at the pros and cons of this possible idea. Gary presented to the Board that he would be ok if the decision is made to transfer management of Fossil Creek to Ft. Collins, however he would prefer the County manage this highly visible property.  Nancy – At the public meetings we heard from citizens that because Fossil Creek is significantly more expensive to manage, and not only because it will be in the GMA, is why this area should be looked at for what is the most financially responsible and efficient for the public.  This needs to be looked at in the bigger picture of the new acquisitions in the Laramie Foothills and in context of the mountain backdrop foothill properties.  Eric - Consider a policy to determine the best agency to manage properties based on location, suitability, etc. to cover many possible scenarios, not just Fossil Creek area.  Jean – Look at bigger picture of the philosophy of management of an area and how will we work together and how much input we want to have in future management plans, etc.  K-Lynn – It was determined that the County would manage Fossil Creek because Ft. Collins had just accepted management of Coyote Ridge and it was still early on.  Peter – what is next step to move this discussion forward with the City?  Mark – Needs broader level approach and look at property to determine what is best for that specific site.  K-Lynn – Our staff will discuss with City staff and if needed set up an OLAB subcommittee.  Have City take issue to the NRAB.


§  Cash flow and summaries for Open lands Acquisition and Development Fund, May 2004

Lori Smith, CPA, presented the 2003 year-end annual budget summary for our non-bond and bond funds.  She also presented the summary of funds from 1996-2003 (from inception of the program through 2003).  The Bond Fund will be zeroed out as of Dec 2004.  At the end of 2004 the non-bond fund is projected to be $247,763, following projected acquisition completion.


§  Management Costs for the Open lands Program:

§  Timeline for refining management costs: First step is to look at cost allocations for staffing.  In Parks and Open Lands salaries are split between funds – these salary splits need to be reexamined, as they do not have a cost driver associated with them.  Within the Open Lands Program we will examine salary splits between Acquisition and Management Funds.  The management fund spreadsheet assumptions will be examined and adjusted as appropriate to reflect better information we’ve gathered over time.

§  Open spaces managed as a part of a Parks funded area such as Soderberg Homestead Open Space at HTMP and Ramsay-Shockey Open Space at Pinewood.  Public comment on this issue will be taken at regularly scheduled OLAB meetings.


Director’s Report

See enclosure.  Next month, our volunteer program will be coming to OLAB to present the work they do.  Bob Streeter asked for a future presentation on forest management happening on Parks and Open Lands properties.


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


The meeting was adjourned by a motion from Wendell.  The motion was seconded by Duane and carried unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.