Fall 2015 Newletter
Pika Trail Built at Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area
Trail constructed over August weekend
Over the August 29-30th weekend, 55 adults and 19 youth coordinated by the Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) spent time constructing a trail on MALT’s 92 acre property that is part of the larger Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area near Fairplay. The new “Pika” trail on the property will provide public access to this special area. Volunteers were able to construct 2,500 feet of trail over the weekend, as well as 4 Cairns (human-made piles of stones that guide hikers along the trail), and 4 waterbars to help alleviate drainage issues. VOC altogether contributed over 1,100 hours of work to construct the new Pika Trail at Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area in August.
Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center graciously hosted the under 12 kids during the day while their parents were hard at work on the trail. The children enjoyed many fun and exciting environmental activities. Highlights included feeding alpacas and goats, learning about sustainable farming and alternative energy, sawing plants in the greenhouse, examining tree rings to see how old they were, exploring dried up beaver ponds and lodges, catching macro invertebrates in the creek, going on a nature hike, and of course, playing in the mud! Parents and kids rejoined at dinner time to enjoy a night of camping together under the stars at Bristlecone View Ranch owned by MALT Conservation Easement holders Bob and Jill White.
A special thank you to the volunteers and staff with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center, South Park National Heritage Area and Bristlecone View Ranch, Bob and Jill White who made this project possible.
The Pika Trail is for Hiking Only. No motorized vehicles, hunting or camping is allowed. It is private property owned and managed by the Mountain Area Land Trust.
Pennsylvania Mountain Bumblebees in Science magazine
Research conducted on MALT’s property
MALT’s 92 acre property at Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area is one of the primary research sites used in a recently published study in the September 2015 Science magazine that is creating a buzz in the world-wide science community and media. Co-authored by MALT Ambassador Dr. Candace Galen, Professor of Biological Sciences at University of Missouri, and MALT’s 2015 Pennsylvania Mountain Research Intern Elizabeth Hedrick, Research Assistant at Missouri State University, finds that in two alpine bumble bee species, decreases in tongue length have evolved over 40 years. Researchers have concluded that a shorter tongue has allowed bumblebees to suck nectar from a wider variety of flowers. “Our analyses suggest that reduced flower density at the landscape scale is driving this shift in tongue length,” the authors wrote in the study. “Although populations of long-tongued bees are undergoing widespread decline, shifts in foraging strategies may allow alpine bumblebees to cope with environmental change,” the authors wrote. “We see broader bumblebee foraging niches, immigration by short-tongued bumblebees, and shorter tongue length within resident bee populations as floral resources have dwindled. In remote mountain habitats – largely isolated from habitat destruction, toxins, and pathogens – evolution is helping wild bees keep pace with climate change.”
MALT’s property at Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area is one of the primary research locations where this study was conducted. In 2014, with the generous support of the community, MALT purchased 92 critical acres as part of a multiphase project. This effort ensures the continuing ongoing scientific research conducted by more than a hundred scientists for over 38 years – one of the longest term alpine research sites in the country.
“As scientists, without a baseline, we cannot measure change. MALT’s purchase of 92 acres on Pennsylvania Mountain has protected a unique alpine ecosystem where we have that historical baseline. It’s made all the difference in our research on bumble bees and will allow scientists in the future to see how the changes we’ve observed continue to unfold,” – Dr. Candace Galen.
Current Conservation Easement Projects Underway in Four Counties
MALT Land Team Working on New Projects
MALT’s Land Team is working with Conservation Easement landowners in 4 out of our 6 service area counties. These Conservation Easements will conserve significant wildlife habitats and corridors, public scenic vistas, natural areas such as meadows, streams, riparian areas and other water resources, working ranches and land under probable threat of future development.
Projects underway include:
44 acres in Clear Creek County
157 acres near Jefferson, Park County
140 acres south of Golden Gate State Park, Jefferson County
200 acres near Fairplay, Park County
300 acres with the Pikes Peak Boy Scouts Camp Alexander, Teller County
MALT Kicks Off Legacy Council
Donors take leadership role
MALT is pleased to announce its newly established Legacy Council, an engaged community of donors who have stepped up to take a leadership role in conserving a legacy of land, rivers, streams and stunning mountain vistas. As MALT plans ahead for a strong future of conservation in the mountain area from Denver to the Continental Divide, it is seeking to grow a leadership group of donors to lead our conservation efforts and provide MALT the resources it needs to be successful.
Legacy Council Membership Levels:
Lifetime Legacy Founder: Donate $25,000 or more per year for 3 years
Legacy Founder: Donate $10,000 or more per year for 3 years
Legacy Leader: Donate $10,000 or more annually
Legacy Conservator: Donate $5,000 – $9,999 annually
Legacy Partner: Donate $1,500 – $4,999 annually
Legacy Council Members will be invited to a special Legacy Council annual gathering and other conservation leadership opportunities.
*Note: Levels are based on a cumulative total of gifts donated throughout the calendar year for which no goods or services are received. Planned and in-kind gifts are recognized separately.
Welcome New Board Members
New members join Board of Directors
Pandora Reagan is a Realtor with PandoraJohnProperties at RE/MAX Alliance and was the recent recipient of the Emerald Award from the Evergreen Chamber for exemplifying what it means to live and do business in Evergreen. Prior to her transition into real estate, she worked for Habitat for Humanity for 15 years in Colorado. Pandora lives in Evergreen with her husband.
Lori Weigel is a Partner with Public Opinion Strategies. Lori has directed research efforts for hundreds of political and public affairs campaigns throughout the country. She has a unique niche as a “conservative cons
ervationist” and has polled extensively for conservation organizations which has included extensive research on renewable energy, climate change, land conservation and water quality issues. Lori lives in Golden with her daughter and son.
John McBride Greene is currently the Executive Vice President of Hunter Communications, Inc., a satellite solutions company located in Harrison, New York. He has twenty years of experience in the satellite communications field. Based in Evergreen, his interests include mountain biking, hiking, skiing, fly-fishing and literature. John resides in Evergreen, Colorado with his wife and two children.
Consider MALT in Your Planned Giving
MALT establishes Vista Giving Circle
In September, MALT was the recipient of a $75,000 bequest as the result of a generous planned gift from the Estate of Patricia Giles, a longtime supporter. Planned gifts such as this bring valuable support to Mountain Area Land Trust and will help make a significant difference in the lives of generations to come. Have you considered including MALT in your estate plans? It can be simple to accomplish and by including MALT in your will, life insurance policy, real estate plans or retirement account, you can specify a gift that comes to MALT after your lifetime. Learn more about Planned Giving.