Thursday, October 27, 2005 Ė 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

Bill Newman

Jim White

Ted Swanson

Lori Jeffrey-Clark

Ben Manvel



Jerry White

Kerri Rollins

Meegan Flenniken

Gary Buffington

K-Lynn Cameron

Charlie Johnson

Solomon Miller

Glenn Gibson

Ernst Strenge




Duane Pond

Bob Streeter


Chair, Peter Kast called the meeting to order at 5:10 p.m.


Sue Sparling motioned to approve the minutes of September 2005.† The motion was seconded by Mark and passed unanimously.



No public comment



∑  The 1st Annual Birding Fair at Fossil Creek Reservoir on September 24 was an overwhelming success with an estimated 800 people attending birdwalks, raptor releases and educational activities throughout the day!† Thanks to all involved for making this a successful event.† Jean attended the event and commented that all went well, and it was great for kids and families.

∑  The VOC project to construct the Blue Sky Trail on October 1 & 2 was also a huge success with over 260 people including Jean Carpenter working hard and having fun building over 1 mile of new trail!† Thanks to all involved for making this event so successful!† Jean also attended and participated in this event and said it was a great thing for Larimer County.









∑  An OLAB Alumni lunch was held on October 14 and past members including Eric, Linda, Nancy, Kathay, Kathy Gilliland and Merrill attended along with Peter, K-Lynn and Gary.† Staff was able to update the alumni on happenings and received helpful feedback on items such as a future extension of the sales tax.†

∑  Boards and Commissions Recognition dinner was held Monday, October 24 at 4:30 pm at the Lincoln Center.† Many OLAB members were there, and the food was great!

∑  Blue Sky Trail preview hike, almost 4 of the 8 miles complete.† The filed trip will leave Glade Park at 9am.

∑  Duck Lake Ė Ernst reviewed a recirculation contraption called Solar Bee that will be introduced at Duck Lake to eliminate the sulfurous odor.† Hopefully it will be installed this fall on an experimental basis before we decide to purchase it.† This is the most cost effective option we have at the moment.†

∑  Business cards for OLAB members were handed out, per Peter's request.† Also, notecards featuring our Parks and Open Lands were passed around and are available for OLAB members to use upon request.†

∑  The Siefke 35-acre conservation easement has been signed. †The easement is located adjacent to Indian Creek





∑  Management of Fossil Creek Reservoir:† K-Lynn reviewed the five possible scenarios proposed in the packet.† The first four are proposed by the four upper management team members (Frank Lancaster and Marc Engemoen of Larimer County and Darin Atteberry and Greg Burn of the City of Fort Collins) and fifth option was requested by Peter to be added.† Mark Sears, Manager of the City of Fort Natural Areas Program, was present to answer questions regarding how Fort Collins might manage Fossil Creek, and an email from John Stokes (Natural Resource Director at the City) on this subject was included in the packet.† Comments emailed from Bob Streeter, not present, were also mentioned and this email will be included in next month's packet.


Mark Sears said the City may differ in† management style in that rangers would not have a day to day presence at Fossil Creek, as their office would not be located there.† Presence would be more random.† By 2010 they expect to have a volunteer Trail Host Program up and running so there would be more of an interpretive presence in the future.† Education opportunities would be offered as we do now.† Maintenance and public improvement would remain very similar, as would vegetation management and restoration.† A longterm obligation would be for them to develop possible improvements at Duck Lake.†


Mark D asked what projected management costs are through 2018 and how much will be saved by transferring Fossil Creek in 2010.† K-Lynn said from 2005 - 2018 it will cost about 14% or $4.2 million to manage the area.† She said that $3.1 million will be saved from 2010-2018 if we transfer the open space as outlined in scenario #4.







Glenn commented that due to the IGA wording, transfer should occur when the volunteer annexation takes place but the two entities seem willing to cooperate on the time needed to make the transition.† Glenn also commented on the original negotiation of the lease for the reservoir's surface rights and that he continues to feel the County should not pay for that lease.† K-Lynn directed his attention to scenario #4, which tried to accommodate that concern.† Glenn agreed that it did.†


Peter said the biggest asset of Fossil Creek is the visitation and the high visibility.† He asked if the City had an area with similar assets.† Mark Sears said perhaps Pine Ridge and Cathy Fromme natural areas did.† K-Lynn said that Fossil Creek is unique because there is such a focus on birds and activities, with the outdoor classroom available for use in the central area.† The interest from schools for educational programs is also increasing.† Mark Sears said they have observed how the County has managed the open space and if it proves the City needs to higher another ranger to secure the area then they will.† Sue voiced concern about lack of ranger presence could increase the number of dogs coming to the open space, where dogs are not allowed.† Mark said the City has a very strong position on dogs on leash, and since dogs have never been allowed at Fossil Creek it would hopefully not be an enforcement issue.† The city does not allow dogs at Coyote Ridge and hasnít since it opened.† Solomon said they still have issues with 1-2 dogs a day coming to Fossil Creek.† Mark D said if the ranger presence isn't there people will take advantage of it, as they still do at Rocky Mountain National Park.† Jean confirmed that the education program would transition fully to the City, either in 2010 or slowly over the next four years.† Mark said the City would continue successful programs that the County initiated, such as the Northern Colorado Birding Fair and hopefully start new ones.† Mark D asked K-Lynn what the saved money would go towards after transferring Fossil Creek.† K-Lynn said it would go to the management of other properties to get us through to the end of the sales tax, and could go towards acquisition if the management need is already met.†

Ben motioned to recommend to the Board of County Commissioners to adopt scenario #4 (to transfer management of Fossil Creek to the City over a 4-5 year period with the City continuing to pay 100% of the cost of the reservoir lease) as outlined in the handout.† Sue seconded, and the motion passed unanimously


∑  Ackerman II Conservation Easement Final Review:† This will be the 3rd easement we have worked on with the Ackerman family.† It is 320 acres.† Charlie said the numbers have been adjusted from when the Board previously approved this final review in 2004 because last time there was no appraisal.† The land appraised at $134,000, which is less than what it was originally thought to be worth.† Because we must maintain a 50/50 deal with the landowner, the cost has changed from $100,000 for Larimer County to $67,000.† The landowner will donate the remaining $67,000.

Bill motioned to recommend to the Board of County Commissioners to allocate $67,000 to protect 320 acres of the Ackerman land with a conservation easement.† Jim seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.









∑  Regional Trail Prioritization Exercise:† Ernst distributed the final results of the exercise, combining the OLAB and BOCC scores.† High priority trails (there are 7) include the Lower Poudre River Trail, Red-tail Ridge and Boxelder Creek Trail.† K-Lynn said this exercise helps staff in focusing efforts and it is a great guide, but not intended to exclude other opportunities that may arise in the future.†


Ernst reviewed on the map where the high priority trails are located.† Ben asked why staff had some radically different ratings on thee Hansen Canal and the Lonetree area.† Ernst said that when staff went through the exercise, the Hansen canal raised questions on the danger of having a trail next to a canal.† These concerns were confirmed through the Water District (NCWCD).† K-Lynn said staff had thoughts that Lonetree might be more difficult and/or time consuming to complete due to new developments occurring in the area.

Mark motioned to recommend to the Board of County Commissioners to adopt these trail priorities as outlined.† Ben seconded and the motion passed unanimously.


∑  Trail names for the Devilís Backbone Open Space:† Meegan reviewed why we are renaming the trails.† At the time these trails were originally named, we did not consult the previous landowners on trail names as we do now.† Hence, of the three trail loops one will be named the Hunter Trail and one Wild Trail.† The back loop will be the Laughing Horse Loop.† The new back loop of the trail on the Indian Creek addition to the Devil's Backbone Open Space will be called Indian Summer.† The OLAB subcommitte consisted of Brian, Jim, Jean, K-Lynn, Meegan and Travis.† ††

Jim motioned to accept the new trail names as recommended by the subcommittee.† †Jean seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.



∑  Poudre River Trail Ė Bison Arroyo Section, Initial Review.† Ernst introduced Scott of the City of Greeley who was here a few months ago reporting on the Poudre River Trail Corridor.† Scott works on the acquisition and building of the Poudre River Trail (PRT) as it comes west from Greeley and Windsor.† Ernst reviewed information handed out in the initial review that proposes to build 5,380 feet of the Bison Arroyo section of the PRT which will be 10 feet wide, concrete, and 6 inches deep.† The Poudre River Trail Corridor Inc., run by the City of Greeley, has received a $178,000 grant for this project.† They are asking Larimer County to partner by contributing $206,750.† Windsor will loan them the dollars to complete the project until they can get reimbursed.† Bill asked how this cost impacts are longterm financial plan.† K-Lynn said our cash flow does not have dollars for trail funding until 2007 so we would borrow $206,000 of our unallocated $4 million to cover costs now, then reimburse ourselves in 2007 when we have those funds allocated.† This is an ideal project for us as we donít have to manage this property, and we arenít being asked to loan the $178,000 to cover the grant costs.†


Scott said since last time he was here he had 1 mile left of trail easement to acquire from 3 different landowners.† The current trail is about 18 miles and with this completion it will be








close to 20.† Now they have contracts with 2 of those 3 landowners and a contract is waiting to be signed with the third.†


K-Lynn said this will come back to the Board in November for final action.† A field trip will be offered before then.† Ernst said 11/4 at 3 is proposed, meeting in Windsor.† Other options will be proposed.† Our future plans in this area include building an underpass under Hwy 392 and continuing the trail north to connect to the PRT and River Bluffs Open Space.†


∑  Horsetooth Mountain Park (HTMP) Management Plan:† Mark Caughlan, Manager of Horsetooth †District introduced himself.† He is working with EDAW to update the original 1997 HTMP Management Plan to address new issues, redesign park entrances and address trail reroutes.† The plan is scheduled to be completed in December of this year.† Three public meetings will be held in the process.† Items such as Park Purpose, Park Significance, Constraints, and Recreational Themes are being discussed and defined.† Mark reviewed examples in each category.† Management plans on Culver, Hughey and Soderberg open spaces will be incorporated into the area management plan. A Visitor Use survey was conducted over the summer of 2005 and hiking was the primary recreation activity at the park, and 50% of respondents agreed there should be a fee to enter.† 95% said they had never encountered a conflict with another visitor, which is consistent with the 1997 plan survey results.† Mark estimates HTMP gets about 100,000 per year.† Gary said we get about 40-50,000 at the Devilís Backbone.† There are currently about 30 miles of trails and roads at HTMP.† The South entrance was built in the 1970ís and provides roughly 95% of the access.† It needs updated and they have plans to enhance it.† Sensitive natural resources (bear, eagle, mountain lion habitat and significant plant communities) will also be taken into consideration for the plan, as will forest management and cultural resources.††† Mark reviewed some of the public meeting comments.†


Next public meeting is 11/14 at the Fort Collins Senior Center at 7pm.



∑  Gary said a consultant will be selected to work on the Parks Master Plan, which he hopes to start in November of this year.† He also hopes to have a Parks Board together to help work on the Master Plan starting in January.† He said it is likely the new Parks Board will work together with OLAB on some issues.

∑  Also in January, the countyís Forestry Program will be included in the Parks & Open Lands Department.† This will add to the existing Parks, Open Lands, Weeds and Volunteer programs.†

∑  Gary voiced his appreciation of OLAB and their volunteerism. He is looking for Eagleís Hockey tickets again this year to offer as a thank you to the Board.


EXECUTIVE SESSION: †(24-6-402(4) (a)C.R.S. Purchase, acquisition, lease, transfer or sale of any real or personal property interest. Sue motioned to go into Executive Session.† Ben seconded and the motion passed unanimously.



The meeting was adjourned by a motion from Jean.† Ben seconded and the motion passed unanimously.† The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 p.m.