1% Helps Fund Stewardship Efforts

1% for Open Space voted last week to fund $15,000 to Mountain Manners (a program of the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival) and $15,000 to the Crested Butte Conservation Corps (a program of the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association) with aspirations of helping to establish commendable local land stewardship efforts by the two organizations, and thereby creating a more sustainable model of tourism.

The primary focus of the Mountain Manners grant is the support of the Peak Protector program. Over Mountain Manners logo30 trained Peak Protectors hit the trail this weekend through Labor Day weekend, educating recreationalists at trailheads, in campgrounds (including dispersed camping zones), and on the trail about low impact travel techniques in our wild places. Additionally, eight Mountain Manners Stewardship courses are being conducted throughout the summer for in depth instruction on the same. The goal of Mountain Manners and Peak Protectors is to educate recreationalists in order to change adverse behavior and practices.

The Crested Butte Conservation Corp is establishing work crews on the ground six days a week, maintaining and repairing damaged trails to prevent resource damage as well as improve the trail experience. While a program of the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association, the crews will be repairing non-mountain biking trails as well, in addition to assisting with issues in dispersed camping, traffic and parking on thoroughfares leading to backcountry access, and serving as a response team for urgent and present arising situations (such as motorists driving around snow banks and mud bogs).

Both efforts have arisen out of increased visitation to the area causing harmful effects to the land,

Increased visitation has necessitated the upstart of new stewardship efforts Mountain Manners and the Crested Butte Conservation Corps

ecosystems, watershed and trails. Working with governmental agencies such as the United States Forest Service, as well as the private land owners from the Crested Butte Land Trust to ranching operations, the two programs are also working in concert with each other, providing complimentary services towards a very crucial need. Each will be measuring their impacts by recording numbers of interactions with individual recreationists, with Mountain Manners paying special attention to if the education is producing a positive impact on the landscape, and the Conservation Corps additionally weighing pounds of trash collected.

“We cannot continue to market for more people without putting at least equal resources into sustainable tourism efforts such as these,” stated 1%’s executive director Molly Murfee, “No one else is going to take care of our home – it’s up to us. With our grants, 1% wants to make a strong statement and a real difference in getting these programs off the ground. We commend our long-term partner, the Crested Butte Land Trust, for always having stewardship a part of their operations on the lands they own and manage. We see these new efforts as rising to respond to the sheer numbers and their detrimental impacts we’re now feeling across the board on all of our accessible lands. It is no longer enough to just preserve land, we must make very concentrated efforts to steward it as well. This should be a regular part of doing business for all vested parties throughout Gunnison County from this point forward.”

1% for Open Space raises funds through voluntary donations from customers of over 100 participating businesses to help preserve Gunnison County’s open space, recreational opportunities, gorgeous viewsheds, ranching heritage, important ecosystems and valuable watersheds. Since 1997, 1% has collected over $2.7 million to help protect over 12,100 acres in Gunnison County. 1% operates in two project areas – a North Account from Almont North to the High Elk Corridor, and a South Account from Almont through to Gunnison – directly funded by the donations collected by participating businesses in that specific area.

1% for Open Space Provides Seed Money for Mountain Manners

1% for Open Space has recently funded seed money for the inaugural launch of the new community-driven Gunnison Valley stewardship campaign, Mountain Manners.

Mountain Manners aims to raise awareness for responsible recreation in the wild and natural areas in Gunnison County to “preserve the beauty that brought you here.” The low impact backcountry travel code of ethics and outreach is the collaborative brainchild of over 30 different agencies and individuals brought together by the Sustainable Recreation and Tourism branch of the One Valley Prosperity Project.

Lower Loop Bikers and Hikers

Gunnison County sees over 3.4 million visitors per year in our forests and wildlands.

While in its infancy, Mountain Manners will continue to grow and evolve in response to user impacts seen in our wild spaces. The inaugural efforts include creation of: a localized code of ethics specific to this area with informational website; recognizable logo for messaging; informational slogan stickers each with a “Mountain Manner” tip; fun and friendly “conversational give aways” such as lip balm, water bottles, beer coasters and more – all with educational pointers.

Mountain Manners also inspires to instigate a Field Ambassador Program where volunteers agree to help spread the message of responsible use on the trail and in the moment of finding someone behaving disrespectfully. Field Ambassadors will be equipped with the knowledge of a responsible code of ethics in the backcountry, the impacts a particular action has, and how to relay that information in a friendly but firm manner.

“We really want to applaud the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival who applied to us for these funds. They really are the energetic and logistical impetus in making this happen,” says 1% for Open Space executive director Molly Murfee, “1% for Open Space’s historical main drive has always been the outright preservation of our wild lands and recreational access through purchases and easements. Yet, the national forest that surrounds us here in Gunnison County experiences 3.4 million visitors annually. It is one thing to preserve the land, we must all come together as a community to become good stewards of it and work to protect its integrity. We believe that Mountain Manners is a step in the right direction towards this, and we want to support this valley-wide effort. We are proud to be a founding partner and look forward to the campaign’s evolution.”

Look for Mountain Manners information at participating 1% for Open Space businesses, among other locales, and stay tuned for the developing website and code of ethics informational dissemination. For more information on 1% for Open Space see www.1percentforopenspace.org where a list of low impact backcountry travel techniques can also be found at www.1percentforopenspace.org/low-impact-travel-techniques/

 

1% Pledges to Trampe Ranch Conservation Project

1% for Open Space has recently pledged monetary support to the Trampe Ranch Conservation Project

The Trampe Ranch boasts some of the most spectacular viewsheds in the county

The Trampe Ranch boasts some of the most spectacular viewsheds in the county

through a joint partnership of the Trust for Public Land and the Nature Conservancy. The 1% grant of $200,000 will help permanently preserve nearly 6,000 highly visible acres throughout the Gunnison Valley. The East River parcels total 2,647 acres, the Jack’s Cabin parcel is 284 acres (joining an already preserved 978 acres), and the Home Ranch just north of Gunnison is 1,917 acres.

“This is one of the most exciting projects I have ever been a part of since I moved here,” says Glo Cunningham, 1% for Open Space Board President, “It is so important to protect these amazing ranchlands and viewsheds. Huge kudos go out to Bill Trampe, Susan Lohr, Justin Spring and the Trust for Public Land along with the Gunnison Ranchland Conservation Legacy for all their hard work.”

The Trampe Ranch helps to preserve our agrarian culture, rural lifestyle and pastoral landscape quintessential to this area’s identity and economic viability

The Trampe Ranch helps to preserve our agrarian culture, rural lifestyle and pastoral landscape quintessential to this area’s identity and economic viability.

Bill Trampe is a third generation rancher, co-founder of the Gunnison Ranchland Conservation Legacy, and runs one of the largest cow / calf and yearling operations in the region, accounting for approximately 20 percent of Gunnison County’s annual agricultural productivity. His goal in permanently preserving his land in conservation easements is to provide an enduring natural resource base for agriculture so that the business of producing food will continue to be sustainable forever.

The Trampe Ranch also boasts some of the most spectacular viewsheds in the county, covering over 30 miles of landscape-scale terrain. Moreover, it serves as important habitat for the Gunnison Sage-Grouse with lek, brood rearing and winter range territories. Trampe shares the ranch with elk, mule deer, black bear, mountain lions, many smaller mammals, and numerous migratory and resident birds, including 13 raptor species.

In addition to the permitted and primary use of agriculture, the Trampe Ranch conservation easements

The Trampe Ranch covers nearly 6,000 acres in the Crested Butte, Almont and Gunnison areas

The Trampe Ranch covers nearly 6,000 acres in the Crested Butte, Almont and Gunnison areas

will also allow for guided and outfitted hunting and fishing; ecological research; seasonal outdoor activities or events; and educational activities promoting agriculture and natural resources – all exclusively by permission of the landowner and provided they do not harm the grazing and agricultural uses of the land or violate the Conservation Easement.

“The Trust for Public Land is honored to work on the Trampe Ranch conservation easement,” says Colorado Director of Land Protection for TPL Justin Spring, “This is one of the most significant projects ever tackled in Colorado and vital to the community character of Gunnison County. ”

The Trampe Ranch Conservation Project addresses several core values of 1% for Open Space that guide the organization’s funding. These include the preservation of Gunnison County’s ranching heritage, gorgeous viewsheds, wildlife habitat, watersheds and important ecosystems. In addition to the ecosystem services the land provides, protection of the Trampe Ranch helps to preserve our agrarian culture, rural lifestyle and pastoral landscape quintessential to this area’s identity and economic viability.

“Words do not express the profound respect we at 1% for Open Space have for Bill Trampe and his utter and heartfelt connection to the land he has stewarded throughout his lifetime,” says Executive Director Molly Murfee, “On a recent funders’ site visit, over and over people came up to him to say ‘thank you.’ His consistent response was ‘It’s not about me, it’s about the land.’ This kind of dedicated ethic is regrettably rare in today’s world, and we are incredibly fortunate in the Gunnison Country to have someone like Trampe whose ultimate vision includes preservation of the land and dedication to the crucial issue of food security.”

Parcels of the Trampe Ranch to be permanently preserved in Crested Butte, Almont and Gunnison

Parcels of the Trampe Ranch to be permanently preserved in Crested Butte, Almont and Gunnison

The Trampe Ranch Conservation Project is scheduled to close December 2016. For personal donations towards the project please visit the Gunnison Ranchland Conservation Legacy’s website at www.gunnisonlegacy.org or contact Scott Dissel at the Trust for Public Land at 303-867-2337.

1 Percent for Open Space logo

About 1% for Open Space 

1% for Open Space raises funds through voluntary donations from customers of over 100 participating businesses to help preserve Gunnison County’s open space, ranching heritage, gorgeous viewsheds, wildlife habitat, watersheds, important ecosystems, and recreational opportunities. Since 1997, 1% has collected over $2.4 million to help protect over 12,100 acres in Gunnison County.

1% for Open Space works exclusively in Gunnison County and operates on two separate accounts. Businesses in the northern end of the valley raise funds for open space projects north of Almont. Businesses in the southern end of the valley raise funds for projects including Almont and south. 1% will be drawing funds for the Trampe Ranch Conservation Project from both their northern and southern accounts, meaning participating businesses from Gunnison, to Crested Butte, to Mt. Crested Butte have raised the funds for this project.

1% for Open Space is now in its Spring Sign Up Season through June 17. Become an integral part of historic projects such as the permanent protection of the Trampe Ranch. Interested businesses should contact Executive Director Molly Murfee for a free coffee date and information session. For more information visit www.1percentforopenspace.org, call 970-349-1775, or write to director@1percentforopenspace.org.

 

 

1% Pledges to Snodgrass Land Preservation Project

1% for Open Space has recently pledged its monetary support to the Crested Butte Land Trust’s Snodgrass project with a grant of $125,000. This land conservation effort will permanently preserve 110 acres on the eastern flank of Snodgrass Mountain as well as access to the Snodgrass Trailhead. The entire project consists of Parcels 1 (96 acres) and 2 (9.29 acres) of the Promontory Ranch as well as the new addition of the Ingraham Parcel (4.95 acres).

“For 1% the Snodgrass project carries the same value and magnitude of importance as that of the Lower Loop,” says 1% for Open Space Executive Director Molly Murfee, “What we know of Snodgrass is the trailhead that will be permanently preserved. Of equal value, however, is the gorgeous land that stretches north of the trailhead. Here are expanses of wildflower meadows, aspen forests, streams and views from Gothic Mountain to Bellview. It’s stunning.”

For 1% for Open Space, the project addresses several of the core values that guide their funding decisions. In this project, access to recreational opportunities is paramount with Snodgrass Mountain containing one of the important and widely used trains in the area alongside its renowned summer wildflower display.

As the acreage is perched at the northern end of the proposed development with its  northern border being shared by the Gunnison National Forest, it serves as an additional buffer between the growing town of Mt. Crested Butte and the town of Gothic, home of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory.

In additional to the recreational value of permanently securing access to the Snodgrass trailhead, the project also helps protect valuable resting, foraging and migration habitat for black bear, deer, elk, moose, coyote, fox, mountain lion and beavers, among other wildlife. Upper portions of Snodgrass Mountain are identified as habitat for the endangered Canada lynx. Three streams travel through the project area feeding both into Washington Gulch and the East River, their protection therefore addressing 1%’s value of preserving watershed integrity.

1% for Open Space raises funds through voluntary donations from customers of over 100 participating businesses to help preserve Gunnison County’s open space, recreational opportunities, gorgeous viewsheds, ranching heritage and important ecosystems. Since 1997, 1% has collected over $2 million to help protect over 5,100 acres in Gunnison County.

Funds for the Snodgrass land preservation project were raised exclusively by participating 1% for Open Space businesses in the Crested Butte area.

“I really want to encourage business owners who value amenities – from recreational to wildlife to watershed – such as exist within the Snodgrass project, to become a participating member of 1%,” says continues Murfee, “The more businesses we have and the more support they feel from their donating customers, the more money we will have to donate to projects such as this.”

1% for Open Space is now in its Fall Sign Up Season through December 12. Interested businesses should get in touch with Executive Director Molly Murfee for a free coffee date and information session. For more information on 1%  for Open Space visit www.1percentforopenspace.org , call 970-349-1775 or write at director@1percentforopenspace.org.

 

1% Pledges to Tomichi Creek Restoration Project

1% for Open Space has recently pledged grant monies to Trout Unlimited for their Lower Tomichi Creek Riparian Restoration Project in Gunnison. The project aims to improve riparian health, streambank stability and water quality for Tomichi Creek while protecting the historic agricultural values on W-Mountain Ranch.

Restoring the riparian ecosystem will increase flood management, reduce erosion and improve aquatic habitat, while also enhancing access to and control of irrigation water. This is being accomplished through revegetation of the streambank with willows and cottonwoods; altering fencing techniques to better facilitate livestock management; and re-constructing the Goodwin and Wright diversion to decrease channel disturbance, allow proper access of Tomichi Creek to its floodplain, and keep the main flow of the water aligned with the geomorphology of the creek. The new diversion design will also improve fish migration.

We feel that taking care of the land and water that sustains us both economically and  recreationally, as well as providing valuable terrain for food production, is important,” states 1% for Open Space Executive Director Molly Murfee, “If we can’t be good stewards of this land, no one else will either.”

Tomichi Creek provides habitat for various aquatic animals and fish including trout, salmon and otters. W-Mountain Ranch protects 1000 acres of pristine undeveloped meadow and has 3.7 miles of Tomichi Creek running through it.

For 1% for Open Space, the project addresses several of their core values that guide their funding decisions. The restoration supports 1%’s value of watershed and ecosystem integrity by helping improve the riparian ecosystem and therefore fish habitat. This in turn addresses a second value of preserving recreational opportunities, as improving water quality and habitat diversity will enhance angling upstream on the Tomichi Creek State Wildlife Area, and downstream near the confluence of the Gunnison River,. Additionally, the project works with local ranchers to assure their ability to continue their economic lifestyle in a manner that also sustains the supporting ecosystems. Climbers of W Mountain will appreciate the winding viewsheds of Tomichi Creek and mountain meadows of the W-Ranch that spread below them.

1% for Open Space raises funds through voluntary donations from customers of over 100 participating businesses to help preserve Gunnison County’s open space, recreational opportunities, gorgeous viewsheds, ranching heritage and important ecosystems. Since 1997, 1% has collected over $2 million to help protect over 5,100 acres in Gunnison County.

Funds for the Tomichi Creek Restoration Project were raised by participating 1% for Open Space businesses in Gunnison. Donations collected by these Gunnison businesses stay in the southern part of the valley to exclusively help projects surrounding the areas from Almont to Gunnison.

“We are really striving hard to get more Gunnison business participants,” encourages Murfee, “The amount of money and number of projects we are able to fund is directly proportional to the number of businesses we have participating in the programmers as well as their donating customers.”

1% for Open Space is now in its Fall Sign Up Season through December 12. Interested businesses should get in touch with Executive Director Molly Murfee for a free coffee date and information session. For more information on 1% for Open Space visit www.1percentforopenspace.org , call 970-349-1775 or write at director@1percentforopenspace.org.

 

1% Pledges Funds to Gunnison Whitewater Park

1% for Open Space has recently pledged grant monies to help fund the reconstruction of damaged whitewater wave features #2 and #3 of the Gunnison Whitewater Park. These funds will be used as a portion of the 10% cash match required for the award of a requested Great Outdoors Colorado grant.

“We have heard from so many people in the Gunnison community that the repair of the Whitewater Park is important to them,” says 1% board president Glo Cunningham, “We are thrilled to offer funding to help preserve this crucial recreational amenity.”

1% made the decision to help fund the repairs because they recognize that while Gunnison County is a haven for outdoor recreation—from biking and hiking, to fishing and rafting—the Gunnison Whitewater Park stands alone as the sole experience of its kind in the area. Its position as a major economic driver in the County with aquatic recreationists, as well its vital role in supporting the Gunnison River Festival and rafting and fishing companies were also stated.

In addition, the 1% for Open Space board felt other benefits associated with the reconstruction, such as enhanced habitat for fish, improved bank stabilization for the riparian river ecosystem, and greater functionality of the important 75 Ditch, were also influential to the decision.

“What is exciting to us about this project is that it offers support for a major recreational asset in the southern end of the valley,” adds 1% Executive Director Molly Murfee, “We want the Gunnison and Almont communities to know that 1% for Open Space is established to fund projects throughout the County, not just in the Crested Butte area.”

1% for Open Space raises funds through voluntary donations from customers of over 100 participating businesses to help preserve Gunnison County’s open space, recreational opportunities, gorgeous viewsheds, ranching heritage and important
ecosystems. Since 1997, 1% has collected over $2 million to help protect over 5,100 acres in Gunnison County.

“Any business in Gunnison County can participate in 1%,” encourages Murfee, “And money collected stays in the part of the valley where you operate. Pledged support to repair the Gunnison Whitewater Park is a perfect example of how funds collected from participating Gunnison businesses can help protect valuable south-of-the-valley assets.”

For more  information on 1% for Open Space visit www.1percentforopenspace.org or call 970-349-1775.

1% Helps Fund North Pole Basin

1% for Open Space announces its pledge of $78,000 to permanently preserve 158 acres of North Pole Basin.

Recently, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) decided to help fund the purchase of North Pole Basin with a grant of $700,000, making its permanent preservation a foreseeable reality. We are proud to say that 1% for Open Space funding, as well as that made by the Gunnison Valley Land Preservation Fund, played an essential role in GOCO’s grant approval.

While seemingly a smaller donation in comparison to the literal millions GOCO is able to generate, we at 1% want to make sure that our community members know that without the organization’s crucial local support, such large grants would noteven be available for our benefit.

Our strength is in the community support our grants demonstrate. Our funding has an incredibly strong voice, backed by our 85 participating business and the literally hundreds of thousands of their participating customers. We make a very powerful statement of our community’s values when we pledge funds.

This was made personally apparent to me at a GOCO board meeting held this fall in Crested Butte, where I had the opportunity for multiple conversations with GOCO board members expressing the absolute necessity of these local funding sources.

They simply won’t give a project money unless it has local support, and they are extremely impressed with the support open space receives here in the valley. They notice when entities such as the Gunnison Valley Land Preservation Board receive more than 80% of voter approval. Many of them were asking me how to start their own 1% funding program in Denver. I take that as a great compliment for our organization.

So what, exactly, has been preserved? Why are such words as “vital” and “critical” being thrown around in relation to this project?

The North Pole Basin is a large and important piece of the High Elk Corridor, a vast tract of land situated between the Maroon Bells-Snowmass and Raggeds Wilderness areas, surrounded by the White River National Forest. It stretches from Gothic to Marble, including the historic mining towns of Schofield Park and Crystal. For the outdoor enthusiast, these are the homes of trails such as Yule Creek and West Maroon, guarded by the sentinels of Baldy, Crystal, Treasure and Treasury. Preservation of the High Elk Corridor stands as one of Colorado’s longest running conservation efforts.

Here, thousands of acres of mining claims created in the 1800’s have remained privately owned. But now, through the conservation efforts of the Trust for Public Land, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and Crested Butte Land Trust, over 1,800 acres are preserved. 1% for Open Space has been an important funding partner to these organizations throughout many of these preservation projects.

Preservation of the North Pole Basin has been orchestrated by the Crested Butte Land Trust, who will hold the conservation easement, and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, who will own the land. The property, once a Commonwealth Placer mining claim, has been purchased from the North Village Reserve, a subsidiary of the Crested Butte Mountain Resort. CBMR had acquired the property through the previous ownership of the resort. The current owners are selling the highly valued property at a bargain sale, donating 30% of its value to the conservation project.

North Pole Basin itself shares borders with Schofield Park, much of which is also permanently preserved, and the Mexican Cut, another critical piece of land preserved with the help of the Nature Conservancy in the 1990’s. The Mexican Cut is used by the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory for sensitive research.  With the addition of the North Pole acreage, their field of research just got a lot larger.

Previously, access to the North Pole was only granted through permission. With RMBL’s ownership the property will be re-opened to the public via a hiking trail. Now, hiking through the water-laden basin, camping in the upper echelons of the high alpine meadows beneath Treasure Mountain, climbing Crystal Peak, and backpacking through Bear Basin, will all be available for public access through an easement granted by CBLT and RMBL.

The North Pole Basin isn’t 1% for Open Space’s first rodeo in the High Elk Corridor.  Since 1999 the organization has pledged $221,923 to preserve 232 acres in this area alone. These projects have included Schofield Park, Paradise Divide, Paradise Basin, Yule Creek, Maxfield (Gothic) Meadows, and Crystal Peak. Organizations such as the Crested Butte Land Trust, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and Trust for Public Land have all received individual grants from 1% to help see these projects become a reality.

It is vital for business participation in the 1% program to continue to increase, and for customers to not only frequent 1% businesses, but encourage those not yet a part of the program to join. Much of the incredible beauty we enjoy in the valley isn’t magic or free, but a result of the hard efforts of the land preservation and funding organizations we have here locally.

The real beauty in 1% is that every single person that has stepped foot through a 1% for Open Space business and purchased anything – be it a $20 pair of socks or a week’s stay in a local cabin – can feel proud to have donated to the preservation of the North Pole Basin. This program allows everyone to participate and take ownership in these successes.

 

1% Helps Preserve Razor Creek Ranch

1% for Open Space has added another pledge in the Gunnison Ranchland Conservation Legacy’s efforts to help preserve Greg Peterson’s Razor Creek Ranch, with funding assistance for a 460-acre conservation easement on the property.

Razor Creek Ranch

Razor Creek Ranch

This is not the first time 1% for Open Space has granted funds to the Gunnison Ranchland Conservation Legacy for preservation of the Razor Creek Ranch. 1% funds were used in 2001 to protect 150 acres, and again in 2006 to protect an additional 430 acres. This 2012 easemnt creates a network of protected lands covering 2,927 acres in the Razor Creek Valley, which is also home to the imperiled Gunnison Sage Grouse. Funds were additionally granted by Great Outdoors Colorado, the Gunnison Valley Land Preservation Fund, the Gunnison Sage Grouse Mitigation Fund, the Jim Gebhart Memorial Fund, and other private donations.

Peterson’s ranch is located 20 miles east of Gunnison. This particular easement covers 460 acres of irrigated hay meadow and pasture. It is the final phase of Peterson’s series of conservation easements, which now protect his entire 1,640-acre property in the Razor Creek Valley.

The 460-acre easement includes 300 acres of irrigated meadow and pature that are designated as “Lands of Statewide Importance” by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The ranch provides critical brood-rearing and nesting habitat for the imperiled Gunnison Sage Grouse, as well as habitat for numerous other wildlife species. The easement includes a half mile of Razor Creek and surrounding riparian habitat. The ranch also provides scenic views for travelers on the Doyleville-Cochetopa Road and for visitors on adjacent public lands. Mr. Petson is an enviornmetnally conscientious rancher who earned the 2005 Gunnison Sage Grouse Stewardship Award.

The ranch is located in the Gunnison Basin Megasite, which is considered to be of “Critical Global Significance” by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. The Nature Conservancy considers the Gunnison Basin to be a priority conservation area within the Southern Rocky Mountain Ecoregion. The area’s biologically rich landscape received a “high” ranking in TNC’s assessment process. The property is also located in the Gunnison Basin Priority Landscape designated by the Colorado Conservation Partnerhsip’s “Keep It Colorado” initiative.

The conservation easement ensures that the land will be availabe for food production in perpetuity. THe undeveloped property will also continue to provide wildlife habitat and scenic views.

 

 

 

1% and RMBL Continue Preserving Schofield Park

1% for Open Space has recently helped the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory purchase more Schofield Park properties for permanent preservation.  The purchase totals twelve lots, or 1.89 acres and is directly adjacent to land already purchased by RMBL with 1% assistance. RMBL will match the 1% donation with its own funds for the remainder of the total land value.  RMBL will hold the property and manage it in a manner consistent with the already extensive land holdings of the CBLT and TNC in the area.  1% for Open Space has now helped preserve over 78 acres in Schofield Park since 1999 through the Trust for Public Land, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and Crested Butte Land Trust.

This project adds to the over 200 acres protected in the Park since 1997. Part of the 1,800 acre High Elk Corridor preservation project that connects the Maroon Bells-Snowmass and Raggeds Wilderness Areas, Schofield Park serves as the southernmost terminus for the West Maroon Pass Trail.  Schofield Park borders sensitive outdoor research areas utilized by RMBL, as well as National Forest land.

The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory’s mission is to advance the deep scientific understanding of nature that promotes informed stewardship of the Earth. Of the approximately 300 field stations in North American, RMBL is one of the largest and oldest. The long-term history of in-depth research, in combination with a relatively pristine location and a compressed growing season especially sensitive to variation in climate, provides unparalleled opportunities to document and understand ecological perturbations of global importance.

RMBL has been involved in conservation in the area of Schofield Park for over 50 years. They collaborated on their first major project with The Nature Conservancy to purchase approximately 1,000 acres, an area now known as the Mexican Cut Preserve. This was TNC’s first project in the state of Colorado and research conducted in the Preserve informed revision of the Clean Air Act, leading to protections for air in the western United States.

“As obtaining permission to work on USFS properties becomes more complex, costly and time-consuming, private inholdings where we can locate experiments and equipment, such as the recently purchased property in Schofield, are becoming an important part of the tools that RMBL uses to facilitate research and education,” commented Executive Director Ian Billick.

With the addition of these 1.89 acres, 1% for Open Space has now helped preserve close to 5,000 acres since its inception in 1997. Through the dedication and participation of over 70 local businesses and their customers, 1% has raised over $1.7 million to preserve open space in Gunnison County.

1% and RMBL Saving Schofield Park

Schofield Park

1% for Open Space funded the purchase of ten lots totaling 1.1 acres in Schofield Park this June 2011. Purchase of these lots was facilitated by the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL), who will match the 1% donation with its own funds for the remainder of the total land value. The lots border land previously preserved by RMBL with 1% for Open Space funds. Conservation of this property helps ensure that future generations of scientists and students will have access to relatively undisturbed research sites.  It continues long-term efforts involving a range of partners, including The Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Lands, the Crested Butte Land Trust, and the RMBL to protect the area between Gothic and Marble. The Lab plans to hold the property and manage it in a manner consistent with the already extensive land holdings of the CBLT and TNC in the area.

This project adds to the over 200 acres protected in the Park since 1997. Part of the 1,800 acre High Elk Corridor preservation project that connects the Maroon Bells-Snowmass and Raggeds Wilderness Areas, Schofield Park serves as the southernmost terminus for the West Maroon Pass Trail. A gateway to one of the nation’s most spectacular wildflower areas, this sub-alpine meadow is visited by thousands of hikers and bikers each year. Schofield Park borders sensitive outdoor research areas utilized by RMBL, as well as National Forest land. 1% for Open Space has helped preserve over 177 acres in Schofield Park since 1999 through the Trust for Public Land, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and Crested Butte Land Trust.

With the addition of these 1.1 acres, 1% for Open Space has now helped preserve over 4,500 acres since its inception in 1997. Through the dedication and participation of over 70 local businesses and their customers, 1% has raised over $1.7 million for open space preservation to date.

The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory’s mission is to advance the deep scientific understanding of nature that promotes informed stewardship of the Earth. Of the approximately 300 field stations in North American, RMBL is one of the largest and oldest. The long-term history of in-depth research, in combination with a relatively pristine location and a compressed growing season especially sensitive to variation in climate, provides unparalleled opportunities to document and understand ecological perturbations of global importance.