Tuesday, October 13, 2009 , 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.,

Bison Visitor Center , 1800 South County Road 31, Loveland, CO

Text Box: The mission of the Larimer County Parks and Open Lands Department is to establish, protect, and manage significant regional parks and open lands, providing quality outdoor recreational opportunities and stewardship of natural resource values.  We are committed to fostering a sense of community and appreciation for the natural and agricultural heritage of Larimer County for present and future generations.


Parks Advisory Board Members:

Dave Coulson, Chair

Frank Cada

Mark De Gregorio

Frank Gillespie

Barry Lewis, Vice Chair                                                                                

       Vickie Traxler                                                                                  

Chad LaChance                                                             

    Linda Knowlton             

    Forrest Orswell



Gary Buffington, Natural Resources Director

Rob Novak,  Education Specialist

Kerri Rollins, Fund Development & Outreach Specialist

Debra Wykoff, Business Operations Manager



SSteve Johnson, Commissioner



Russell Fruits

Tom Miller


The October 13, 2009, meeting of the Parks Advisory Board was called to order by Chair Dave Coulson, at 5:40 p.m.  The minutes of the September 8, 2009, meeting were approved.  



Board comments about the Whole Measures workshop with Peter Forbes:

Frank Gillespie:  It was a nice way to spend a morning.  The speaker was fine.  He enjoyed it a lot, and gained a better understanding of Whole Measures.

Mark DeGregorio:  He thought it was going to be premature to jump into a demo project at that point



Jim Roode:  Loveland Fishing Club:  They want to volunteer services on the Big Thompson parcels, on one that is currently owned; they would like to adopt a parcel to maintain it.  The club would like to commit to one now, and one in the future.

Walt Graul:  Loveland Fishing Club:  Still interested in the overall process.  They made their recommendations on which parcels to retain back in 2005.  Of the 12 parcels recommended, there are still 5 not yet addressed.  Appreciate actions taken on the others, but still concerned about these:  Area 3 on the west edge of Loveland – city may be interested.  Parcel 12B, where North Fork dumps into river.  Parcel 17; Area 20 on the North Fork.  The Commissioners approved keeping part of it.  There’s a large fenced piece that looks like private property.  Area 20a.  They are very anxious to keep the process moving.


Staff comments:

Gary Buffington:  Until we get the current process done, those areas are officially open to the public, even though they are not well known.

Charlie Johnson:  The reason for the delay since May is that we have been waiting for County surveyors to have time to work on it, rather than spending money on private surveyors.  They are beginning to work on it now, and Charlie expects to have some ready by next month.

Gary :  The public process on this went very well – whenever the public on both sides of the issue stand and applaud the County Commissioners, both staff and the advisory board can feel proud of your efforts!



§   Natural Resource Events for September/October. See website http://www.larimer.org/naturalresources

§   On 9/23, Peter Forbs, from the Center for Whole Communities, facilitated a session on Whole Measures.  Parks Advisory Board members who attended:  Linda Knowlton, Russ Fruits, Frank Gillespie, and Frank Cada.

§   On 9/26, the 5th Annual Northern Colorado Birding Fair happened at Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space, with lower than expected attendance.  Next year, Fossil Creek will be under the management of the City of Fort Collins, which may also affect the future of the Birding Fair.

§   On 10/2, there will be / was a reception for Artist of the Year, Diane Findley, featuring her artwork of our open spaces at the Cache Bank & Trust in Fort Collins.

§   On 10/14, 1pm – 5pm, there will a tour to Hermit Park Open Space for new OLAB & PAB members.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  We will see the new Bobcat Camp Area (aka Camp Area 2).  RSVP’s will be taken closer to the date.

§   On 11/20, 5pm – 7 pm, Colorado photographer John Fielder will present his new book Ranches of Colorado at a place TBD.  The book features working ranches throughout Colorado that have been protected with conservation tools.  Event is sponsored by the Open Lands program, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas and Legacy Land Trust and proceeds will benefit LLT.

§  On 1/1/2010, Fossil Creek management transfers to Ft. Collins.  They will do plowing, weeds, mowing, trees, etc.  We will continue to occupy and maintain the Ranger Headquarters.

§   Our campground reservation system software is “migrating” from the Reserve World platform to the Reserve America platform. The transition will be completed in November.  The reservation system will be offline for a week at that time.  

§   The Department was once again represented at the 2009 New West Fest and Corn Roast Festivals in Fort Collins and Loveland, respectively.  Total costs tallied $3550, with 850 contacts for both festivals, averaging $3+ per contact.  All staff members who were involved thought we should continue our participation in future as an effective way to interact with people.

Board comments:

§   Linda Knowlton:  Is $3 per contact considered a good rate of return? (Staff described the types and quality of contacts made at such events to support the conclusion that it is.)


Park District updates and Parks Master Plan Implementation Progress report –Mark Caughlan, Horsetooth Park Manager

§  Tour of Hermit Park new Bobcat Camp Area tomorrow.

§  ADA retrofit improvements are almost done; Flatiron and Pinewood are currently being done.

§  ANS inspection requirements have resulted in the closing of boat ramps except for weekends; there have been some very angry fishermen and boaters in October.  The information has been on the website all year, posted on the boat ramps, publicized in the media, etc.  The program did catch 3 boats with adult zebra mussels.

§  Blue Sky trailhead design is done.

§  Rotary Park: Three volunteer work days were held with the Northern CO Climbing Coalition.

§  All the GOCO projects will be done by next year, and all the Priority 1 Master Plan projects will get completed.

§  Data collection at the Horsetooth shower houses proved use of less than 2000 gal. of water per month, so we can install a shower house at Eagle Campground next summer as planned based on low water use.



Lions Park – Poudre River Enhancement Proposal – Dr. Mandy Kotzman

§   Gary distributed a written proposal submitted by Dr. Kotzman to extend the Poudre River Trail through the business district of LaPorte, combined with a kayak white water feature and fish habitat improvement.

§   Gary explained to her that the County would have no funding to put toward this, nor any expertise in a kayak white water park.  Also that there will be a lot of regulatory agencies and processes with which to comply.

§   Mark noted that this is not in either the Parks or Open Lands Master Plans, so a public process would be required.


Board comments: 

§   Frank Cada:  Is there a concern about the impact on stream flows?

§   Linda Knowlton:  How is this related to the Fort Collins proposed paddle park?

§   Chad LaChance:  Why would we have anything to do with a trail through the town of Laporte?  What does it have to do with recreation?  It’s a bike path – not a recreation trail.

§   Barry Lewis:  Why wouldn’t the town of LaPorte do the trail – it would benefit only the town and would be more appropriate for them.

§   Chad LaChance:  The river project might be appropriate – not the trail project.  Others concurred.

§   Frank Gillespie:  Would this project attract users who do not  currently use our parks?  Whole Measures type value of appeal to new user groups?

§   CDOW should be consulted about whether fish habitat and kayaking are compatible uses.


Staff comments:

§   Gary Buffington:  This will also go to the Open Lands Advisory Board.

§   Mark Caughlan:  Staff will be meeting out there on 10/19 at 10 a.m., if any board members want to join them.  Mark, Dan and Charlie will be looking at ownership issues in the area.



Hermit Park Education Plan – Final Review – Rob Novak, Education Specialist

  • Rob displayed the final draft of the proposed banner, and reviewed the banner concept.


Board comments:

  • Vickie Traxler:  More emphasis on the wetlands and water resources there, because there are so few.  Water resources may need more emphasis in the overarching theme.  Too much emphasis on the Dutch Louie legend, not enough on the real homesteaders.  Need more definition of “product.”  (She also submitted her detailed technical and grammatical edits to Rob.)


Whole Measures Seminar Follow-up & Feedback – Kerri Rollins, Fund Development & Outreach Specialist

  • Kerri thanked the five PAB members who attended, and briefly summarized the seminar for the other board members, noting that the group spent some time naming programs and services which the department already provides which meet the objectives of Whole Measures.
  • Next steps will include introducing all department staff to the concept at an all-staff meeting on October 30.


Board comments:

  • Mark deGregorio:  We need to find ways to make the management by various agencies more seamless so that the public will be supportive of future tax measures in support of parks and opens space.
  • Linda Knowlton:  Lory State Park and the adjacent Horsetooth Mountain County open space – that’s a huge source a public confusion.
  • Frank Gillespie:  Confused by discussion about getting the use of other property we don’t own, when we have all kinds of land we already own?  Why are we going off on something else entirely?
  • Linda Knowlton:  The idea is to appeal to groups that we are not currently focused on and are not currently working with.
  • Frank Cada:  What a challenge we have in getting the entire community involved in understanding how the open space works and how they can use it.  Thinking about how we can interface with these groups who don’t typically use them.
  • Linda:  So in perpetuity really isn’t.  People will choose to use it in other ways.  Russell Fruits noted that we also cannot alienate all the people who voted for HPOS who like the open space the way it is.  We need their support too.
  • Kerri:  Russell Fruits, who couldn’t be here tonight, also noted that we must remember latch key kids – the white middle class kids whose parents are too busy with careers to take them camping, so they, too, have no connection to the land.


Staff comments:

  • Mark Caughlan:  We are so restrictive on what we allow on our lands – we have pages and pages of regulations on what you cannot do on our lands.
  • Kerri:  If you are protecting land without instilling in people the love of land and the value of the land, then you will lose it in the future – people are not connected to the land for the value of it.


2010 Proposed Budget – Debra Wykoff, Business Operations Manager, briefly reviewed the revised 2009 Parks Fund budget summary and the proposed 2010 original budget, which was submitted at the end of August, to meet the County budget deadline.  These will be revised again at year-end.

2010 Fee increases –
Gary Buffington

  • Colorado State Parks is raising their camping fees and their boating fees. 
  • Camping is in high demand, as evidenced by the fact that camping revenues have exceeded budget for 2009.
  • Gary proposes $2 in the following fees:

§ Full hook-up

§ Electrical

§ Non-electrical

§ Boat-in

§ HP

§ 2d unit

  • Discussion ensued among the Board, at the conclusion of which the following action was taken:

Linda Knowlton made and Frank Cada seconded a motion that the staff email the Board their recommendations on permit fee increases, and the Board would take action on those recommendations at the November meeting.  This motion failed.


Barry Lewis moved that the fees be raised $5 for camping – full hookups, electrical, boat-in, Hermit Park, and additional camping units; and that camping - non-electrical basic fees, receive no increase for 2010, to encourage first-time campers and preserve affordable camping opportunities. Frank Gillespie seconded the motion.  Linda Knowlton called for the vote.  The motion passed on a voice vote.











Estes Valley Campground Partnership - Status – Gary Buffington

  • Gary reported that work is continuing on a draft management agreement with the County Attorney.  The agreement would provide that any costs like safety issues would come out of the gross revenues before the percentages are determined.

    Board comments:
  • Mark DeGregorio:  He got a copy of the Resource Management Plan, FONSI and Environmenal Assessment from the BOR; and feels that staff should have provided it to the Board when requested many months ago.  Also, BOR said there are safety issues which will be expensive to address, based on an inspection done in August.  The department may not see real revenue for 4-5 years because of all the issues that need to be addressed.  He saw in the previous minutes that Dan Rieves said that the City of Estes Park is willing to overlook code violations for two years – but if other private campgrounds find out that the County is not being required to comply with code, they may not be happy.  As he has previously stated on several occasions, he expects that the Board will have the opportunity for a full review of this issue prior to being asked to approve any management agreement.

EXECUTIVE SESSION – Linda Knowlton made a motion to go into executive session.  ___ seconded. Motion approved.  The Board went into Executive session at 8:35 p.m.  The Board exited Executive Session at 8:45 p.m.


MEETING adjourned at 8:45 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,





Debra Wykoff






Dave Coulson, Chair



  • Marina concession @ Carter Lake
  • Carter Lake Sail Club License -  Renewal recommendation
  • Estes Valley Campgrounds - Contract Recommendation
  • Commercial Use of DNR Lands – Final approval
  • Whole Measures – Continue discussion


Next regular meeting:  November 10, 2009, Boyd Lake Room at the Larimer County Courthouse Office Building, 200 West Oak, Fort Collins, CO.