Mountain Area Land Trust News Fall 2020
Upcoming Voluntary Land Agreement Closings
With the November closing of a Conservation Easement on 71 acres on MALT's property at Sacramento Creek Ranch in Fairplay and an additional 116 acres with adjacent landowners, the first phase of conservation in the Sacramento Creek Valley is nearly finalized. These three Conservation Easements totaling 187 acres, complete a crucial link between the peaks of the Mosquito Range in the Pike National Forest and the Middle Fork of the South Platte River on the Wooly Bugger Ranch, conserved in 2017 by MALT. MALT has also initiated conversations with several other neighbors in the Sacramento Creek Valley who are interested in expanding this critical conservation corridor. The completion of additional Conservation Easements in 2021 within the South Park region will further establish MALT’s presence in the community and advance efforts to conserve this critical area of high biodiversity. Phase One of the Sacramento Creek Project has been generously supported by the Park County Land and Water Trust Fund, founded in 1998 to preserve and protect critical water, open space, wildlife and recreation resources within the county.
In addition to its efforts in the Sacramento Creek Valley, MALT will complete several other Conservation Easements in 2020 including:
- In Jefferson County, MALT will complete two Conservation Easements near Evergreen, protecting 312 acres of highly visible open space and wildlife habitat.
- In Park County, MALT will complete a Conservation Easement on a historic family ranch surrounded on three sides by the Pike National Forest. This voluntary land agreement will protect 206 acres of wildlife habitat and open space, including several acres of critical riparian habitat.
- In Boulder County, MALT will complete a Conservation Easement on 2.6 acres along Sunshine Canyon Drive, designated by the county as a View Protection Corridor. This property, which could have been developed into two large residential houses, will now be protected as visual open space and important wildlife habitat. The voluntary land agreement protects nesting sites for the Rock Wren, an avian species identified as a Boulder County Wildlife Species of Special Concern.
Finally, MALT has submitted a grant proposal to Colorado Parks and Wildlife that would conserve a valuable link for Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep in Clear Creek County. Both the Clear Creek County Open Space Commission and Friends of Clear Creek have pledged financial support for this project.
MALT Receives Land Manager of the Year Award
In a virtual presentation Thursday, November 12th, Mountain Area Land Trust received the Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado's "Land Manager of the Year" award for the 2020 season. MALT was recognized for the trail work projects on MALT's property at Sacramento Creek Ranch near Fairplay.
"It was a joy to partner with MALT on the Sacramento Creek Ranch project and our staff unanimously agreed MALT should be recognized," said Kate Barrett, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) Projects Coordinator.
Twenty-five volunteers from VOC kicked off the first of two project weekends on August 21st at Sacramento Creek Ranch to begin work constructing the new trail. A 1.5 mile Sacramento Creek loop trail already existed on the property. Over the weekends of August 21st and 28th volunteers donated 406 hours to build 1.5 miles of new trail through the woods. MALT is grateful for financial support from the South Park National Heritage Area (SPNHA) and Summit Foundation who both provided grant funding to complete the trail building projects.
Each year, VOC recognizes the outstanding contributions of volunteers and partners at their annual Volunteer Awards & Appreciation Night. In addition to MALT, four individuals and one organization were recognized for their achievements in outdoor stewardship during VOC's PPE (Pandemic Project Era) season.
MALT will be working again with VOC in 2021 to add additional trails at Sacramento Creek Ranch.
Future Plans for Floyd Hill Open Space
Floyd Hill Open Space (FHOS) has emerged as an important park for recreationists to get some fresh air and exercise during the past 8 months. Nearly 1800 bikers and hikers have enjoyed the open space each week during 2020. MALT holds the Conservation Easement on 108 acres at FHOS. (Learn more about MALT's work at FHOS.)
Clear Creek County Open Space who manages the property has 2021 future plans for this area including the following improvements: installing an entrance sign, adding a permanent restroom, refining the existing overflow parking area, installing fencing along the north side of the driveway and installing a kiosk with a map and more information on the ridge.
"I'm not crazy...I'm doing science!"
If you missed the any of the Field Notes from MALT's summer research interns, it is not too late to catch up! Meet Elsa and Camille and learn about the research that was conducted in 2020 at Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area. Elsa's summer research focused on how drought effects the flowering success of alpine plants by studying established clover plots growing on Pennsylvania Mountain. Camille Oster managed a research project including evaluating the behaviors of bees and formica ants visiting alpine skypilots. She also continued the research of previous scientists studying the alpine dandelion, comparing the pollination effectiveness of its two common pollinators - bumble bees and bee flies.
Mountain Area Land Trust News Spring 2020
Message from the Executive Director
Believe. We must have hope and believe that we will survive and get through this pandemic of Covid-19.
Throughout all the recent changes in the way we interact and do business, one thing remains constant - the necessity to maintain and keep our sanity. One way for me to maintain this has always been getting outside and enjoying the natural world. So, choosing a line of work associated with conserving the outdoor places I love has always been on my radar screen.
Our work at Mountain Area Land Trust is critical for ensuring we all have adequate space where we can hike and recreate; where wildlife can thrive; where our water sources are protected and safe; where the air we breathe is fresh and pure; and where our community thrives because it recognizes and supports this quality of life.
During this time the work Land Trusts do and the benefits we bring to the community have been deemed essential and critical businesses to keep operating. So, if you, like me enjoy the outdoors and natural world please continue to support the work we do. In this way we will leave a better way of life for our children.
Stay safe and healthy during this time. Enjoy the outdoors and breathe in the fresh air each and every day. We have an amazing community, and together I believe we will get through this.
Jeanne M. Beaudry
Saving the Land with Voluntary Land Agreements
Despite all of the changes to our normal daily lives, MALT's work to fulfill our mission of saving land and water is ongoing. While working remotely, our staff continues to engage a number of dedicated landowners that wish to permanently protect their beautiful scenic vistas, open spaces and critical wildlife habitat. Some highlights include a community-led project to protect nearly 200 acres in the Sacramento Creek Valley near Fairplay and a family partnership that aims to protect over 500 acres of wetlands and meadows near Evergreen. We have a number of active projects so stay tuned for more exciting updates!
During this time, we are also working to update our five-year Strategic Plan and our five-year Land and Water Conservation Plan. These plans guide the day to day activities of MALT and will provide the blueprint for us to move into a new decade of land and water conservation throughout our service area. We will be seeking community input as these plans are developed and encourage you to watch your inbox for your chance to participate.
While each and every day brings a new set of challenges, we are dedicated to continuing the important work of land and water conservation. Now, more than ever before, we must save our land and leave a legacy for future generations.
Poll Gauges Public Sentiment on Conservation
10th Annual Poll of Western Voters
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, MALT cancelled the March 19th presentation with pollster Lori Weigel, principal with New Bridge Strategy and MALT Board Member. This is the tenth consecutive year Colorado College has gauged the public's sentiment on public lands and conservation issues. The bipartisan poll annually surveys the views of voters in eight Mountain West states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming).
Some highlights from the 2020 poll:
- Pollution and climate change are deemed the most important environmental problems today. Voters from each political party even see climate change as one of their top three environmental issues.
- Three-in-ten mention water issues when asked about the top environmental problems in their state today. Western voters believe that water supplies are becoming more unpredictable every year.
- More than three-quarters of voters consider the loss of habitat for fish and wildlife to be a serious problem. Voters are just as concerned about the loss of pollinators as they are about the health of water sources and climate change.
Trail Expansion at Sacramento Creek Ranch
In April of 2019, MALT acquired the land and assets of the former Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center, now known as Sacramento Creek Ranch (SCR) located on Busch Run Road in Fairplay. In addition to managing the property and using the ranch as a base of operations and outreach center, MALT offers public access to local youth organizations and residents to enjoy the existing interpretive and nature trails on the property.
MALT is expanding the recreational trails on SCR through a contract with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) to extend the existing trail during the weekend of August 21 - 23, 2020. Volunteers will add over a mile of new terrain that will border the Pike National Forest and trails will continue to be open and accessible to the public and available for school groups to use for educational purposes.
The August 2020 weekend will be the fourth partnership that MALT has organized with VOC on a trail building project. VOC trail designers anticipate that at least 50 volunteers will work over a two-day period, for a total of 700 volunteer work hours! Watch the VOC website to learn more details about how to sign up for this exciting project!
Mountain Area Land Trust News Fall 2019
MALT Moves to New Office, Unveils New Look
Thanks to a vigorous Capital Campaign and the generous support of many dedicated friends, MALT now owns a permanent home at 908 Nob Hill Road, Suite 200 in Evergreen! Staff moved into the new space in September, where they continue to fulfill MALT's mission for land and water conservation, welcome friends and host outreach events. MALT's new home is an extension of the organization's presence in the mountain community working to protect the places in Colorado that mean so much to all of us.
MALT's has raised 92% of the funds towards its Capital Campaign goal. Call or email Lynn in the MALT office (303-679-0950; [email protected]) to learn more and consider a one-time contribution to help us cross the finish line! In addition to a new home, MALT also has a new look. Check out our brand new updated logo!
Saving the Land with Voluntary Land Agreements
Conservation of Conifer Mountain
MALT is excited to announce that it is nearing completion of a 52-acre Conservation Easement on the slopes of Conifer Mountain. The property is highly visible from Highway 285 and its conservation will protect values of Open Space and Wildlife Habitat.
Conservation of Elk Meadow Ranch at Mt. Evans
MALT is excited to announce that it is nearing completion of a 154-acre Conservation Easement on the Elk Meadow Ranch at Mt. Evans. The property is located within the historic Evans Ranch at the edge of MALT's Upper Bear Creek Priority Area. Vance Creek runs through a majority of the property providing for excellent wildlife habitat and a healthy forest ecosystem. The addition of this acreage will complete the full conservation of Elk Meadow Ranch whose other parcels were previously placed under Conservation Easement. Closing will occur prior to the end of 2019.
Conservation of Sacramento Creek Valley
Following the acquisition of Sacramento Creek Ranch earlier this year, MALT has initiated discussions with several landowners about the conservation of their neighboring properties. The acquisition of Sacramento Creek Ranch establishes a base in Park County for MALT's work to educate the local community about the benefits of conservation. Including the 71 acres of Sacramento Creek Ranch, there is potential to conserve more than 400 acres of scenic views and wildlife habitat within MALT's Red Hill to Hoosier Pass Priority Conservation Area. These properties will also connect to MALT's Middlefork Conservation Easement that protects 112 acres along the banks of the Middle Fork of the South Platte River, including 40 acres of critical riparian habitat. The completion of additional Conservation Easements in this region will further establish MALT within the Park County community and emphasize the importance of conserving this critical area of high biodiversity.
Conservation of Northern Jefferson County
The completion of a Conservation Easement on the 404-acre Mount Tom property in 2018 has encouraged additional conversations with neighbors about Conservation Easements within MALT's Peak to Peak Priority Conservation Area. This region, stretching from Golden to the Continental Divide, has large parcels with exceptional scenery and critical wildlife habitat including the threatened Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse and Winter Range for Elk and other large game. MALT will continue to work with landowners in this area to assist with conservation of their properties.
Summer Research Continues at Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area
Field Notes from MALT's Research Interns
If you missed the field notes from MALT's summer Research Interns, catch up here!
Emelyn and Maya spent the summer working with pollinators and plants at MALT's property at Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area. Learn about acoustic monitoring of bee activity on flowers and discover whether bees are better pollinators than beeflies!
Downhill Bike Trail at Floyd Hill Open Space
Epic Front Range Bike Trail Grand Opening
With over 100 mountain bikers, hikers, community members and MALT staff in attendance at Floyd Hill Open Space, "The Sluice" officially opened on August 21. MALT secured a $75,000 grant from the Gates Family Foundation for Floyd Hill Open Space trails. $10,000 was designated for a matching fund campaign to construct the purpose-built downhill bike only trail along the Front Range. Colorado Mountain Bike Association along with other partners raised the additional funds to construct the 1.7 mile trail. The Sluice's main trail is rated blue square/black diamond and drops 700 vertical feet. Experience The Sluice!
Mountain Area Land Trust News Spring 2019
MALT Acquires Sacramento Creek Ranch
Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) has recently acquired the land and assets of Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center (BPEEC), a 70 acre property located near Fairplay, Colorado on Sacramento Creek and bordering the Pike National Forest. Moving forward the property will be known as Sacramento Creek Ranch and managed by MALT.
MALT has had a long relationship with the founders of BPEEC, Al and Terry Hershey, and has worked collaboratively with staff at the center since 2014. Together they have partnered on many projects to protect and enhance the natural resources of the South Park National Heritage Area. MALT looks forward to the next chapter as the organization embarks on a plan to fulfill its mission for land and water conservation, education and outreach, and establish a base in Park County for its operations.
Sacramento Creek Ranch is just minutes away from the Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area, a 92 acre property that was purchased by MALT in 2014. Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area is a dramatic and beautiful 500+acre expanse surrounded on three sides by public land near Fairplay, Colorado. Learn more about the Pika Trailand the high altitude research that has been conducted for over 45 years at Pennsylvania Mountain.
A Message from the Founders:
Dear Friends of Beaver Ponds:
As you may know, Beaver Ponds has been challenged financially since its inception. Without a clear path to financial stability, the Beaver Ponds Board of Directors has decided that it no longer has the financial capacity to continue operations. Beaver Ponds will cease operations on Friday, April 5, 2019.
It saddens us to realize that we are not able to carry on the work of educating people on how to be better stewards of the earth but take joy in knowing that Beaver Ponds has made a difference in many lives over the last 7 years.
But there is good news as well.
The Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT), a wonderful organization in Evergreen CO that Beaver Ponds has worked closely with over the last 5 years, will acquire the land and assets of Beaver Ponds and take over management of the property. They will protect the property and use the base as an outreach center for their conservation efforts. They will assess the programming that has been provided by Beaver Ponds in the past and determine whether they will launch some of the same programs sometime in the future.
The Beaver Ponds property will become known as Sacramento Creek Ranch. (Beaver Ponds was always technically known as Beaver Ponds at Sacramento Creek Ranch so we are delighted that MALT has decided to use the ranch name.)
We cannot thank you enough for the support you have given us over the years. And look forward to MALT sharing more good things happening at the property as MALT and its outstanding staff write the next chapter.
With much gratitude,
Al and Terry Hershey
MALT Launches Capital Campaign
In 2018 with the unanimous support of its Board of Directors, MALT began a search for a permanent headquarters in Evergreen. After considerable discussion and careful financial analysis, the board decided that owning a home is critical to MALT's long term success and sustainability. The organization is purchasing an office condominium unit in the "Nob Hill" building located near I-70 and Evergreen Parkway.
The acquisition ensures MALT has the resources to fulfill its mission, will generate direct annual savings of more than $3,000 in the first year, protects MALT against rising leasing costs over time, and guarantees an appreciating asset with a return on investment of approximately 4% per year.
This purchase will solidify MALT's position as a regional center for land and water conservation and a valuable community asset, while also ensuring organizational sustainability.
Help us to ensure that our beautiful mountains, streams and rivers and historic lands are protected in perpetuity. Contact MALT Development Director Lynn Caligiuri at [email protected] or Board Member and Capital Campaign Chair Rod Morgan at [email protected] more details on how you can support MALT's ownership of a permanent home.
Together we can leave a legacy!
Monitoring Water Quality in MALT's Service Area
MALT is excited to announce the expansion of a water quality monitoring program, previously featured in the Fall 2018 newsletter. To expand the program, MALT has partnered with a team of graduate students from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Denver. The students will sample for invertebrate species that indicate the overall health of the stream, providing baseline water quality information for approximately 30 locations. The selected sampling sites include locations on public land, MALT-owned properties, and private properties with Conservation Easements, and will provide critical information that can guide the long-term stewardship of MALT's conservation portfolio
Save the Date! A Night in the Park - July 13, 2019
For the third year, former Denver Bronco and author, Reggie Riverswill once again bring his special brand of excitement and energy to A Night in the Park! Reggie will serve as MALT's evening emcee and auctioneer so put July 13th on your calendar today and plan to join us to celebrate land and water conservation! Buy your tickets here as this event will sell out!
Thank you to our Business Sponsors who support Land and Water Conservation.
Mountain Area Land Trust News Fall 2018
Some Things You Really Autumn Know!
Understanding Colorado's Critical Conservation Resources
MALT Serves as Pilot Organization for GIS Project
In collaboration with Colorado Cattleman's Agricultural Land Trust and Aaron Sidder of Red Beard Science LLC, MALT is serving as a pilot organization for a project designed to increase Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Colorado Land Trusts. MALT's role as a pilot is part of a broader effort that aims to establish a shared database that Colorado land trusts can use to identify a variety of conservation characteristics including wildlife habitat, wetlands, water resources and rare plant communities.
By participating in this project, MALT will use the data to update its Land and Water Conservation Plan, identify currently unprotected areas in its priority areas and explore additional analyses, including critical water resources, that support MALT's mission for land and water conservation.
Saving the Land with Voluntary Land Agreements
MALT is continually looking for opportunities to partner with private landowners seeking to protect their land and leave a legacy for the future. We recognize that Colorado's population is rapidly increasing and as it grows there is mounting pressure on the environment and open spaces we enjoy. Private lands are under pressure of being broken up for a variety of reasons -development, generational shifts from family farming or ranching, and financial hardship, to name a few. One tool available to landowners interested in preserving their heritage is a voluntary land agreement (Conservation Easement).
A voluntary land agreement may be the answer that eases the pressures and protects the land into the future. If you are looking for ways to conserve a property, we would welcome the opportunity to visit with you and/or your family to discuss the Conservation Easement process and potential tax benefits. To set a time to talk or for more information please call the MALT office at 303-679-0950 or email us at [email protected].
More Trails Completed at Floyd Hill Open Space
Summer Volunteers Complete Trail Sections
Volunteer trail building organized by Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) and others this summer resulted in 4.5 miles of trails completed. Over 244 VOC volunteers donated 2,120 hours of volunteer labor valued at over $55,000 at Floyd Hill Open Space! MALT secured a grant from the Gates Family Foundation to fund much of this work. The VOC groups accomplished 3,300 feet of finished new trail, 1,400 feet of improvements to rough existing trail, built 10 climbing turns and removed 2 acres of invasive weeds. Trails are open for hiking and mountain biking. Read more about the July 9th trail building day.
Pika Trail Kiosk Signage
Interpretive Panels Installed
Interpretive panels for the Pika Trail were installed on October 5th on MALT's property on Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area. The display panels include the Pika Trail map, information on the bristlecone pines, pika and plants found in the area and also historical background of the South Park region. Funding secured by MALT to complete this project was provided by The Summit Foundation and South Park National Heritage Area.
Boo!Bash Thank You
We Feel the Love!
A very grateful thank you to Sarah and Les Sweeney and their Share the Love Foundation for including MALT in the 5th annual Boo Bash on October 20th at Wild Game. MALT was one of the five local non-profits selected by the foundation to receive proceeds from this annual event. Thank you to all of our supporters who came out for the fun and to support land and water conservation!
Dylan Sondermann Transitions to New Position
Dylan Sondermann joined MALT as the Land Steward in March 2018 after receiving a Master of Science degree in Conservation Leadership Through Learning (CLTL) from Colorado State University and he has recently accepted a position with MALT as a Land and Water Conservation Specialist.
Dylan will be assisting the Land and Water Director with Conservation Easement projects and continue to work on partnerships that promote MALT's mission. Currently, Dylan is working on several projects including a water sampling partnership with the University of Denver and a GIS pilot project that aims to increase the capacity of Land Trusts throughout Colorado.
Dylan said, "I thoroughly enjoyed spending my summer as MALT's Land Steward meeting landowners who are committed to preserving the beautiful mountain areas of Colorado and in my new role, I am dedicated to MALT's continued pursuit of land and water conservation."
Thank you to our Business Sponsors who support Land and Water Conservation.
Mountain Area Land Trust News Fall 2018
Spyware for Bumblebees!
Catching the buzz in the underground
Researchers will be out on MALT's property at Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area this summer eavesdropping on wild bumble bee colonies. The researchers were recently awarded a National Geographic Society grant to track bumble bee colonies using acoustics. MALT Ambassador and Professor of Biological Sciences at University of Missouri, Dr. Candace Galen outlined the research details to MALT. "To figure out the best conservation plan for a wild species, we need to understand the threats they face in their natural habitats. Entomologists believe that most bumble bee colonies fail early in their life cycle, but getting good data to back this up in the field has been challenging. We will use miniature tile-based acoustic sensors to eavesdrop on wild bumble bee colonies. As the colony thrives and grows, our tiny microphones will track increases in the volume of buzzing. Dwindling numbers will tell us that bee numbers have deteriorated and give us clues to why — allowing us to match periods of colony stress with outbreaks of parasites, incidence of weather extremes and flower resource deficits. On Pennsylvania Mountain, long term records of bumble bee distributions and flower abundances coupled with isolation from roads and industrial noise provide us with a promising “laboratory” for piloting this technology. And, if we are very lucky, we may even figure out what the bumble bees are saying to each other as they attend to life underground." Learn More.
Water Quality Monitoring on Pennsylvania Creek
Monitoring critical streams and rivers
MALT is excited to announce the development of two water quality monitoring site on Pennsylvania Creek, within the Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area near Fairplay, Colorado and the other on a conserved property on the Middle Fork of the South Platte River. These sites have been developed in partnership with River Watch and Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center, who recently developed a watershed program on neighboring Sacramento Creek. The development of the new sites will allow for the monitoring of conservation values on both streams. Data collected by researchers and citizen scientists will serve as baseline information for this previously unstudied aquatic ecosystem and provide MALT a greater understanding of the Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area.
In Case You Missed It
75 acres conserved in priority area
In early March, MALT announced the closing of a Conservation Easement on 75 acres in Jefferson County in the center of MALT's Peak to Peak priority area. The property is owned by Greg and Frances Penkowsky. Greg is a MALT Ambassador and the recipient of the 2014 Bud Simon Preservationist of the Year award.
Conservation work continues in 2018 including two current land and water projects and four additional initial inquiries. Conservation Easements on these properties will protect significant wildlife habitats and corridors, natural areas such as meadows, streams and rivers, working ranches and land under threat of future development.
110 in Clear Creek County
330 Acres in Park County
40 acres in Park County
83 acres in Park County
62 acres in Jefferson County
151 acres in Jefferson County
Celebrate Land and Water Conservation on July 14th!
Former Bronco and Author Reggie Rivers to be auctioneer
Join MALT at A Night in the Park on July 14, 2018 at Alderfer Three Sisters Open Space Park. Enjoy live auction fun with auctioneer Reggie Rivers, music by Dakota Blonde and catered dinner from Fresh Tracks Foods & Catering all supporting land and water conservation. Jim and Jeanne Hill will serve as honorary chairs for this year's event.
Buy your tickets today and plan to join us to celebrate!
Summer Trail Building at Floyd Hill Open Space
Trail Building Dates Announced
MALT is delighted to once again be working with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) this summer on Floyd Hill Open Space trail building projects! VOC partnered with MALT in 2015 and 2016 to create and build the Pika Trail at Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area.
Thanks to Clear Creek and Jefferson County Open Space programs and The Trust for Public Land, a significant portion of Floyd Hill is open to the public and with these projects will eventually offer a number of hiking and biking trails.
VOC has been motivating and enabling people to become active stewards of Colorado's natural resources since 1984. VOC says, "By breaking ground on a new trail on Floyd Hill Open Space, volunteers will contribute to the development of an expansive trail system that will ultimately provide miles of hiking and mountain biking opportunities for residents and visitors alike." The first of three volunteer project dates will be on June 9th, National Get Outdoors Day followed by July 9th and August 25th. Sign up today!
Meet MALT"s Land Steward
Dylan Sondermannjoined MALT as the Land Steward in March 2018 after receiving a Master of Science degree in Conservation Leadership Through Learning (CLTL) from Colorado State University.
Dylan is excited about his role as Land Steward because of the opportunity to reach out and work with the landowners of MALT's Conservation Easements. His formal training provides him with the skills to understand the human dimension of natural resource conservation and the different perspectives held by stakeholders. During the summer months, this includes annual monitoring of Conservation Easements and working collaboratively with landowners. He also utilizes his technical skills in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to maintain and update the data about MALT's conservation holdings.
hank you to our Business Sponsors who support Land and Water Conservation.
Mountain Area Land Trust News Fall 2017
Conserving Land & Water
MALT has closed on two Conservation Easements this year including 108 acres on Floyd Hill and 112 acres in Park County. Conservation work continues including six land and water projects and four additional initial inquiries. Conservation Easements on these properties will protect significant wildlife habitats and corridors, scenic vistas, natural areas such as meadows, streams, riparian areas and other water resources, working ranches and land under threat of future development.
Park County - 236 acres near Bailey, 200 acres near Hartsel , 485 acres near Jefferson, 330 acres near Lake George. Jefferson County - 80 acres near Coal Creek Canyon, 41 acres near Evergreen,
Jefferson County - 250 acres near Evergreen, 36 acres near Golden, Teller County - 230 acres near Hwy 67, Gilpin County - 50 acres near Central City
Connecting Youth with Nature
Floyd Hill Open Space Summer Hikes for Youth
MALT staff created the curriculum and led five summer hikes for underserved youth from Denver as part of a Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant. Nearly 100 students participated in these hikes during June and August. The Connecting Youth grant aims to connect youth with the outdoors, particularly to children who are not ordinarily exposed to these areas.
"It is not often that our kids have the chance to interact with nature, and it was clear that they were very curious about the landscape! Thank you so much, and I hope we can plan trips with you in the future!" - Denver YMCA. Learn More.
Floyd Hill Trail Work
Connector Trail Work at Floyd Hill Open Space
Thanks to the generosity of MALT donors and the community, work began on the first of several trails at Floyd Hill Open Space in September. Clear Creek County Open Space (CCCOS) and Jefferson County Open Space completed the construction phase of the connector trail in September. In October, CCCOS conducted a community survey and both organizations hosted an open house to discuss future trail construction. MALT and The Trust for Public Land coordinated the purchase and conservation of this 108 acres at Floyd Hill Open Space this past March. Learn More.
Pika Trail Kiosk Construction
Kiosk Structure Completed
MALT collaborated with local Eagle Scout candidate, Cole Brazell, and his troop to build the kiosk structure for the Pika Trail which was completed in October. Cole said, "It feels so good to have it completed. I really like the Pika Trail and have hiked it twice. Knowing that the kiosk is important to MALT's project is exciting to me personally."
Informational maps and a display will be added to the structure in the spring. This project was made possible through a generous grant from The Summit Foundation.
Jerry Dahl Retires from MALT
Jerry Dahl, with Murray Dahl Kuechenmeister Renaud LLP,
has served as MALT's pro bono attorney for the past 25 years and will be retiring from this position in December. MALT Executive Director, Jeanne Beaudry said, "MALT is very grateful for the 25 years of legal counsel that Jerry Dahl has provided. We wouldn't be where we are today without his endless work for our mission." Greg Vallin with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck has graciously agreed to step in and serve as MALT's attorney.
Cheers to MALT!
Evergreen Brewery & Tap House is donating 1% of the proceeds of all Elk Meadow IPA's purchased at their location or at other restaurants and bars that serve it. Look for an upcoming MALT event at Evergreen Brewery & Tap House!
Mountain Area Land Trust News Spring 2017
Floyd Hill Open Space
Conservation Easement placed on 108 acres
Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) has closed on a Conservation Easement on 108 acres on Floyd Hill Open Space protecting this land in perpetuity. MALT led the way for the purchase of this meadow and forested area of land highly visible off I-70 on North Floyd Hill, located within Clear Creek County. The Trust for Public Land (TPL) managed the purchase transaction of the property with Clear Creek County contributing $300,000, Jefferson County contributing $200,000 and Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) granting $545,000 towards the purchase price and due diligence. The land was conveyed on March 17, 2017 to Clear Creek and Jefferson Counties and will be directly managed as public open space by Clear Creek County, with the Conservation Easement ensuring its permanent protection being held by MALT. Clear Creek Open Space plans to open the Floyd Hill Open Space to public usage in early June. A temporary parking area will be defined as well as a preliminary trail through the meadow to connect to existing two track roads.
Celebrating 25 Years of Conservation at A Night in the Park
Former Bronco Reggie Rivers will be event auctioneer
Join us at A Night in the Park on July 15, 2017 at Alderfer Three Sisters Open Space Park. Celebrating 25 years of land and water conservation, this festive evening will feature a hosted bar, auctions with auctioneer and former Bronco Reggie Rivers, live music by Dakota Blonde and catered dinner from Fresh Tracks Foods & Catering.
Reggie Rivers is a former NFL running back who played six seasons with the Denver Broncos during the 1990s. Reggie is a media personality and business owner, who has worked in newspaper, radio and television in Denver. He graduated from Texas State University with a degree in Journalism, and he earned a Master’s Degree in Global Studies from the University of Denver. He has written five books, the latest is the award winning novel, “The Colony: A Political Tale”. MALT will be auctioning off some incredible Denver Bronco items including dinner for four at the Denver Chophouse with Bronco Ring of Fame inductee Randy Gradishar and also a signed football from Bronco great and Ring of Fame inductee, Karl Mecklenburg.
Buy your tickets today and plan to join the celebration!
MALT Land Conservation Director Retires
10 years of service at MALT
MALT's Land Conservation Director, Kurt Ballantyne, will be retiring this spring after 10 years with MALT. Under Kurt's direction, MALT conserved 10,384 acres.
"Kurt has left an indelible mark on the Mountain Area Land Trust over his 10 years at the organization," said Jim Petterson, MALT's Board president. "From Denver to the Continental Divide, Kurt's legacy is the many land and water conservation projects he completed and the people he has inspired and connected to the outdoors during his tenure. On behalf of the entire MALT Board of Directors, I want to thank Kurt for all he has accomplished in protecting the best of Colorado."
Kurt's first career spanned 33 years with the Bureau of Land Management. His 15 years of field experience in Recreation, Visual Resources, and Wildlife Management was followed by 10 years of program management and direction at a Bureau-wide level. Kurt joined the part-time staff of MALT in 2007 and has worked since that time preparing project evaluation packets for the Board of Directors, negotiating Conservation Easements with landowners and leading monitoring teams conducting annual visits to our existing Conservation Easements.
Kiosk to be Constructed at Pika Trail
Offering a hiking experience for all
Thanks to the generous support of MALT donors, grants from the South Park National Heritage Area and a partnership with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, the Pika Trail on Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area is now complete and open to the public. At its 13,000 foot peak the trail offers breathtaking views of the Mosquito Range and the South Park Basin. Through a generous grant from The Summit Foundation MALT will work to increase year-round accessibility to the Pika Trail by posting trail markers and creating a trailhead kiosk. Reassurance markers will be posted along the hiking trail to assist winter visitors in finding their way in inclement weather. MALT is also collaborating with a local Boy Scout Troop to design and construct the trailhead kiosk, offering informational maps to visitors to keep them safe and informed.
In addition to the infrastructure improvements planned for 2017, MALT is continuing to offer guided hikes on Pennsylvania Mountain during the summer months. Hikers will learn about high-altitude ecology and Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area’s mining history. MALT also offers guided hikes at the Beaver Brook Watershed. More information on hikes.
Meet New Board Member Nikki Croce
Nikki Croce moved to Evergreen Colorado from California in 2013. Growing up, she gained a deep appreciation for Colorado's natural beauty from annual multi-week family ski trips in the state and backpacking adventures with friends in the backcountry. Nikki became interested in MALT after learning of their efforts to preserve land, wildlife corridors, clean waters and access to Colorado's wilderness, a mission close to her heart and passions. Professionally, Nikki has nearly 20 years' experience in marketing, advertising and business development. She lives in Evergreen with her husband and their Greater Swiss Mountain dog.
Meet New Board Member Bob Judge
Bob Judge grew up on Long Island in suburban New York and his connection with nature was strongly reinforced through the time spent on his grandfather's farm in Maryland. Bob's 20+ years in his professional career included senior management roles in the manufacturing, distribution and commercial real estate industries. Bob is a life member of The Nature Conservancy (TNC). MALT's mission resonates with him every day as he lives, works and plays in the conserved lands surrounding Evergreen. Bob lives in Evergreen with his wife, Nancy and two boys, John and Ty, and he enjoys hiking mountain peaks, trail running and biking around beautiful Colorado.
Meet New Board Member Anne McLean
Anne McLean was born and raised in Michigan. She attended medical school at the University of Colorado and recently retired in September 2014 from New West Physicians. Anne is passionate about the environment and saving open spaces and once she retired, Anne decided to invest more of her time and energy in supporting MALT's mission.
Anne lives with her husband in Genessee and enjoys the company of her three step-children, six grandchildren and two cats. She also spends time outside in the environment skiing, hiking, bicycling, and gardening, as well as cooking.
MALT Volunteers Making a Difference
Volunteers provide crucial support for reaccreditation
Maureen McDevitt has been providing valuable assistance on a number of projects for MALT since last year including MALT's accreditation renewal application, Board biographies and MALT work plan evaluations. As a young girl, Maureen visited Colorado and was swept away by the beauty that the mountains offer. She grew up in west Texas and was always interested in science and the natural world, earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. For several years she focused on energy and process chemistry for an engineering firm in Austin TX. In 1985 she was fortunate to have the opportunity to move to Colorado to work for an environmental laboratory, settling in Evergreen. She added a Master of Environmental Policy and Management/ MBA from the University of Denver several years later. As a long-time Evergreen resident, Maureen has seen both the efforts to preserve the natural environment and the impacts of development. She enjoys the wildlife, clean waters and scenic vistas that attracted her to Colorado and now volunteers with MALT to help with any projects that furthers the effort to preserve them.
Steve Rinella retired as the Assistant Director of Lands and Realty for the US Forest Service in Washington, D.C. Prior to that he was the Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Region Lands Program Manager. He has been a MALT volunteer for about 16 months. Steve's background experience, managerial and administrative skills and contacts with the U.S. Forest Service provide invaluable counsel and expertise to MALT. Steve has consulted on updates to MALT's Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area Management Plan, grant requests, MALT administrative templates and forms and has been managing the organization's 2017 application to the National Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Commission. For the past 18 years he has lived in Littleton with his wife Salli. They have one son, Andy, who lives in Baltimore. Since retiring, he spends his time doing some consulting, completing overdue home maintenance and trying to get to their cabin in the South Dakota Black Hills as much as possible.
Renewal of Accreditation Public Notice
MALT is working towards accreditation renewal
The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Mountain Area Land Trust is pleased to announce it is applying for renewal of accreditation. A public comment period is now open.
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant's policies and programs. The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications. Comments must relate to how the Mountain Area Land Trust complies with national quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. For the full list of standards see http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/help-and-resources/indicator-practices.
To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org, or email your comment to [email protected] Comments may also be faxed or mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments: (fax) 518-587-3183; (mail) 36 Phila Street, Suite 2, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
Comments on the Mountain Area Land Trust's application will be most useful by July 20, 2017.
Mountain Area Land Trust News
25 Years of Land and Water Conservation
MALT Celebrates 25th year in 2017
2017 marks the 25th anniversary of MALT saving the land and leaving a legacy! MALT was incorporated in 1992 with local Evergreen residents Sylvia Brockner, Linda Dahl, Dan Pike and Dave Scruby. In the 25 years since its founding, MALT has conserved nearly 21,000 acres through 70 voluntary land conservation agreements, collaborative public projects and ownership of 92 acres as part of the Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area in Park County. Stay tuned for more celebration activiities. Learn more about MALT's history.
North Floyd Hill Public Project
New Public Project off I-70
MALT has been the driving force behind the North Floyd Hill Public Project, which in October became much closer to being finalized as Great Outdoors Colorado has recommended this project for final funding! This 108 acre property will be owned in partnership by Clear Creek County and Jefferson County, with a Conservation Easement held by MALT. Located about 25 minutes from Denver on North Floyd Hill, this property is highly visible from I-70 and will provide convenient access to over 12,000 acres of public land to hikers and cyclists.
Over the last several months, MALT’s Executive Director, Jeanne Beaudry, has built successful partnerships with local governments and non-profits that have made the North Floyd Hill Public Project possible. MALT has teamed up with Clear Creek County Open Space, Jefferson County Open Space and the Trust for Public Land to provide partial funds for this acquisition and to apply to Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) for the final funding required to purchase the property at fair market value. In October, GOCO staff recommended this project to be funded, which will occur in December of 2016 pending final approval.
This property is within Clear Creek County, yet Jefferson County is committed to this acquisition as it will allow outdoor recreationists to conveniently access over 12,000 acres of public land from I-70, much of which is within Jefferson County. This will mark the first time that Jefferson County has acquired Open Space outside of their County boundary. Additionally, a Conservation Easement on this property, held by MALT, will ensure public access and restricted development for perpetuity. Highly visible from the I-70 corridor, this property will soon be a destination to hikers and mountain bikers looking for mountainous terrain close to home. MALT is hoping to begin trail construction in 2017. Keep an eye out for upcoming volunteer trail building opportunities!
MALT Founders Inducted in JeffCO Hall of Fame
MALT founders honored
Two of MALT's founders, Sylvia Brockner and Dan Pike, were honored on August 24 and inducted into the Jefferson County Hall of Fame Awards, an annual event that honors outstanding individuals from Jefferson County, Colorado. Congratulations to Sylvia and Dan!
MALT Alumni Council members Linda Dahl, Tandy Jones and Linda Rockwell with Hall of Fame inductee Dan Pike. Photo courtesy of Linda Kirkpatrick.
A Night in the Park Date Set for July 15, 2017
July 15 date announced for annual event
MALT has announced that the 15th annual A Night in the Park will be held on July 15, 2017 at Alderfer Three Sisters Open Space Park. Celebrating the 25 years of land and water conservation, this festive evening will feature a hosted bar, auctions, live music and catered dinner. Save the date and plan to join us to celebrate!
Land and Water Projects in Progress
MALT's Land Team Working on New Projects
MALT's Land Team is currently working on six land and water projects. Conservation Easements on these properties will protect significant wildlife habitats and corridors, scenic vistas, natural areas such as meadows, streams, riparian areas and other water resources, working ranches and land under threat of future development.
Projects underway include:
108 acres North Floyd Hill, Clear Creek County and Jefferson County
485 acres near Jefferson, Park County
152 acres near Fairplay, Park County
200 acres near Hartsel, Park County
330 acres with the Pikes Peak Boy Scouts Camp Alexander, Park County
1,412 acres near Boone, Pueblo County
20 acres near Colorado Springs, El Paso County.
Total of 2707 acres.
Meet New Board Member Bob Ostertag
Bob Ostertag is a native Coloradoan whose roots go back several generations. Bob's family has owned a working ranch near Bailey, Colorado since 1927. In 2012, he and his sister worked with MALT to place a Conservation Easement on their ranch, allowing it to continue as a working enterprise in perpetuity while conserving the property's natural resources. He has been with CoBiz Financial, Inc. since 1996, serving as Executive Vice President/Chief Credit Officer and Senior Vice President/Commercial Department Manager. Bob lives in Centennial with his wife and enjoys time with his two daughters.
Meet New Board Member Marion Wells
After graduating from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, Marion had her sights on working in New York City in International Business. However a life-changing event occurred in 1991 that steered her into a totally different career path. Marion completed the Physician’s Assistant program at Duke University in North Carolina and obtained a Masters of Health Sciences in 1996.
Marion first came to Colorado in 1992, working as a wrangler on a guest ranch near Shawnee where she met her husband Jeff, a former MALT board member. During his tenure, Marion learned of the great work MALT was doing preserving land, wildlife corridors and Colorado history. She and Jeff now enjoy introducing their 10 year old daughter to the beauty of Colorado through skiing, biking, hiking and the occasional garter snake.
Improving lives has become Marion's goal personally and professionally. As the beauty of Colorado continues to draw more people to our state, Marion hopes to help continue the vital preservation required to protect our land, wildlife and way of life in Colorado.
Meet Land Steward Frank Falzone
A love for the outdoors is something that was always a part of Frank's life as he grew up in Minnesota. Frank graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor's degree in Forest Ecosystem Management and Conservation. Upon graduation, Frank spent a field season on the Mt. Hood National Forest working in Silviculture and learning about the real-world applications of what he had learned in college. Frank loves spending his time outdoors. On any given weekend, you might find him up in the mountains skiing, hiking, rock climbing or panning for gold.
Mountain Area Land Trust News Spring 2016
Ancient Bristlecone Research
Ancient tree over 1,900 years old
A core sample retrieved last summer verified the age of one of the Rocky Mountain Bristlecone pine trees within the Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area as 1,927 years old! Dr. Richard Guyette, Kevin Hosman and Dr. Rose Marie Muzika conducted research at Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area last summer with the objective of estimating the age of the Rocky Mountain Bristlecone trees. Hosman, the director of Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center, said twenty six increment cores were collected in all. A second core was determined to be 1,856 years old.
According to the research team, most of the trees on the south facing slope of Pennsylvania Mountain had some degree of internal rot that prohibited them from finding the age of trees expected in the 2000 - 3000 years old range. An unexpected find was that half of the cores from the Bristlecones showed increased growth rates over the past 100 years due to unknown circumstances.
Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area background:
This a dramatic and beautiful 500+acre area surrounded on three sides by public land near Fairplay, Colorado. 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 nearly 40 years - one of the longest term alpine research sites in the country. Read more here.
Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pine/Allan Casey
Pika Trail Continues to Grow
Family Stewardship Experience in August
MALT will continue to add to the Pika Trail at Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area near Fairplay, CO this summer with a trail building weekend on August 20-21. For this family stewardship experience, MALT will once again be partnering with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) and Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center (BPEEC). The goal is to complete an additional 3/4 mile to the trail that was built in 2015. This is a wonderful stewardship and camping opportunity for families to work together on an outdoor environmental experience.
Summer Nature Walks
Get outside this summer!
See ancient bristlecone pines (over 1900 years old!), stunning wildflowers and alpine researchers in the field at Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area near Fairplay or learn about the unique history and natural resources of the Beaver Brook Watershed near Evergreen on one of MALT's guided hikes. Nature walks are free and begin in June. MALT is happy to work with your group and schedule a private nature walk for you!
Welcome New Board Members
New members join Board of Directors
Barb McEahern is the founder of Friends of the Wildcats Foundation at Arvada West High School and former Board member with Apex Foundation. Barb is a dedicated volunteer and has devoted many years to projects for Jefferson County schools. She lives in Golden with her husband and four children.
For the past 25 years,Ted Schaal has been selling agricultural properties, primarily working, recreational and dude ranches and is licensed in Colorado and Wyoming. He is a member of the National Western Stock Show Association, Colorado Cattlemen's Association, Realtors Land Institute, Pheasants Forever, a proud Marine and a member of the Elks USA. Ted lives in Evergreen.
Meet MALT Intern - Janet Hofman
Winter Intern provides valuable assistance
Originally from Michigan, Janet Hofman, MALT's Winter Intern, is a recent Denver transplant. After receiving a B.S. in Geography from Eastern Michigan University, Janet worked as a National Park Ranger, as well as various other seasonal positions, in Utah, New Mexico, California, Florida and Washington, DC. She is currently finishing up her M.S. in Park and Resource Management online through Slippery Rock University and is looking forward to having some free time to partake in less academic pursuits, like hiking, mountain biking and gardening!
Vista Giving Circle
Have you considered including Mountain Area Land Trust 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. Planned gifts bring valuable support to MALT and will help make a significant difference in the lives of generations to come.
Learn more about Planned Giving.
Mountain Area Land Trust News Fall 2015
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. See more photos of the project here.
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.
Call or email Lynn today to discuss your membership in the Legacy Council! 303-679-0950 or [email protected]
*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.
Mountain Area Land Trust News Spring 2015
Trail Building at Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area
Help MALT build a trail
MALT is partnering with the Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) and other organizations to design and build a trail at the Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area this summer. Over a two-day weekend, June 27 - 28th, volunteers will be working on constructing a one-mile trail across MALT’s property. We will be posting details on how you can be involved on our Facebook page and on our website, www.savetheland.org/pennsylvania-mtn Plan to join us for this fun and important work.
Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area is a dramatic and beautiful 500+acre area surrounded on three sides by public land near Fairplay, Colorado. In 2013, with the generous support of the community, MALT purchased 92 critical acres as part of a multiphase project. This effort ensures the ongoing scientific research conducted by more than a hundred scientists for over 37 years - one of the longest term alpine research sites in the country.
Pending Legislation to Increase Incentives for Land Conservation Agreements
MALT supports SB206
A pending bipartisan Colorado Senate Bill 206 which was introduced in the Senate on March 11, 2015 would create larger tax credits for buyers. The bill would allow a landowner to earn up to $1.5M in Colorado tax credits in a single year, which is a significant increase from the previous $375,000 maximum tax credit. This potential increase would help to conserve even more of Colorado’s natural areas.
MALT has written a letter of support to the Honorable Representative Jon Keyser who is a House co-sponsor. The bill currently has bipartisan sponsorship from Sen. Ellen Roberts (R-Durango) and Sen. Mary Hodge (D-Brighton). House co-sponsors are Rep. Alec Garnett (D-Denver) and Rep. Jon Keyser (R-Evergreen). Click here to read the actual bill.
Lower North Fork Fire Update
MALT begins fire restoration process
Two of MALT’s Land Conservation Agreements were impacted by the Lower North Fork fire in March 2012. One landowner lost their home and nearly 99% of their property was burned. Approximately 75% of the second Land Conservation Agreement was also impacted by the fire. In April 2014, damages were awarded to MALT for both Land Conservation Agreements from the State of Colorado.
MALT has been working on the restoration process which involves scoping, planning, implementation and monitoring the impacted areas. MALT’s land team has had conversations with Jefferson County Conservation District to discuss their initial findings and recommendations. They have also consulted with fire rehabilitations experts and reviewed current scientific literature on techniques and methods. This spring in coordination with the landowners, the land team will be conducting field evaluations on-site to determine areas that will need vegetative rehabilitation and soil stabilization. MALT will be working to restore the conservation values to both properties. If you are interested in volunteering for this project, contact MALT at [email protected]
Meet MALT Intern - Jackie Daoust
Winter Intern provides valuable assistance
Jackie Daoust, MALT's Winter Intern, has been helping out on various projects since last October. Jackie moved from New England last year and lives in North Evergreen. Jackie is nothing but enthusiastic when she speaks of her experience at MALT. “I am working with people and land in the community I lived in. Creating change on a local level with long-term effects for the place you hope to call home for many years to come is priceless. I was immediately giving back and able to say ‘thank you’ to the community that so quickly accepted me. I can only hope to continue such meaningful work.”
Jackie holds a BS in Integrated Science from Johnson State College and a MSL from Vermont Law School in Environmental Law and Policy. In college, she completed a variety of environmental research projects while living in places such as Belize, Costa Rica, Hawaii, and the Greek Islands. Jackie has dabbled in working for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in the Drinking Water Department, splashed around at being an outreach coordinator and environmental specialist for a few small non-profits, and has even dipped her toes in solar PV sales. She is fully immersed in her first love, volunteer work, ranging from Habitat for Humanity to sea turtle research to land conservation boards. She recently adopted her first dog, Daryl Hall, and is enjoying her first ski season out West.
Mountain Area Land Trust News Fall 2014
Greetings from the Executive Director
Welcome to our Enewsletter where we’ll be sharing our conservation successes, events and projects on the land through email on a seasonal basis. We are successful because of you and your ongoing support and belief in our mission. We hope you enjoy our stories and continue to support our efforts to leave a legacy for the next generation.
--- Jeanne M. Beaudry
Land Stewards of the Year:
Ostertag Family and Long Meadow Ranch
MALT annually awards Land Stewards of the Year to people who have exhibited exceptional leadership in land conservation. This year the award, presented on August 9th at A Night in the Park, was given to Robert Ostertag and family for conserving their 257 acre Long Meadow Ranch in Park County.
Robert is the fourth generation to live and ranch on the land. The ranch has been in working operation under the current family of ownership for approximately 90 years (circa 1920s); though it is likely various ranching operations occurred as far back as the 1880s. Historically, potato farming and cattle grazing have comprised the main production crops and livestock on the property. Nowadays the land is used primarily for horse pasture and haying operations.
The Ostertag’s have always had a deep connection with their land and for good reason. A portion of the North Fork of the South Platte River traverses through a backdrop of Mount Logan, golden meadows and the ranch buildings distinctive red-roofs. This rural beauty, by the way, is all visible from Hwy 285, the main thoroughfare into Park County. The Ostertag’s Conservation Easement now provides a long-term opportunity for the general public to appreciate the property’s scenic value. “We want to honor traditions of my ancestors, like respect and stewardship, by maintaining the land as it always has been for generations to come,” says Robert.
The public benefits further from the Ostertag’s Conservation Easement from the wildlife habitat it conserves. Montane forests of ponderosa pine, blue spruce, Douglas-fir and aspen trees dominate the landscape but riparian and meadow areas are also present. This diverse habitat provides food, shelter, breeding ground and migration corridors for several wildlife species including deer, elk, eagles, hawks, carnivores and several species of state concern including Canada Lynx, Piling Plover and Least Tern.
Lastly, the water resources on the property serve an important function in the ecological health and diversity of the area. Drainage patterns, wetlands and water management regimes on the property help contribute to and sustain valuable scenic and ecologically beneficial areas for wildlife, plant and amphibian species.
Landowners that choose to complete Conservation Easements on their land are true pioneers for social good. The benefits the public receives from conserving open space landscapes are immense. Although benefits like improved water quality and wildlife habitat are not always tangible to the public, they contribute to a high quality of life for all people, even those residing in cities like Denver, Colorado Springs and Boulder. For this reason MALT thanks the Ostertag’s for their dedication, respect and compassion for the natural world.
Deer Exclosure Constructed at MALT Conservation Easement
Ensuring Conservation Values such as wildlife habitat and water resources remain healthy and vibrant is a critical tenet of what MALT does. During the summer of 2014, MALT worked with multiple partners to improve aspen habitat on one of our largest conserved properties in Clear Creek County.
After years of monitoring the area, MALT staff determined aspen saplings were not regenerating and even dying in a sensitive meadow habitat on the property due to overgrazing by elk and mule deer. Aspen saplings are a popular food source for elk and mule deer because they are tender and sweet. However, overgrazing of aspen saplings will prevent them from reaching maturity. Mature aspens are well-known among the scientific community as excellent providers for nesting bird species. In addition, aspen have proved to increase snowpack retention, improve water quality by filtering pollutants and positively influence underlying soil by encouraging organic matter, phosphorous and water holding capacity. Therefore, MALT felt it was important to reverse the decline of aspen in this particular area.
With support from the Landowners and residents of the property, the project consisted of installing a six-foot fence around a one-acre area in the meadow. Specifications of the exclosure were designed in accordance with the U.S. Forest Service Wildlife Guidelines Handbook to exclude livestock and game wildlife from the fenced area. Long-term monitoring of the area inside the exclosure will occur to measure aspen saplings and their subsequent growth. The intention is to keep the exclosure in place long enough for aspens to grow to maturity.
MALT Project partners included Steele Street Bank and Trust (Landowners), residents on the property, Boys Scouts of America and Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. Coordination for the project was provided by Jack Winters, Boy Scout from Evergreen Troop 737 for his Eagle Scout Project. Volunteers from Wells Fargo (Candace Allen, Bob Woodward and Jennifer Bruce) provided the necessary labor for the project. MALT staff also participated in the construction while providing guidance and expertise. Long-term monitoring of aspen growth within the exclosure will be completed by MALT. Considering the project had excellent planning and partners, MALT anticipates positive results inside the exclosure as well as the entire area for many years to come.
Beaver Brook Watershed Noxious Weed Eradication
The Beaver Brook Watershed (BBW) is one of the many natural resource gems in Colorado’s Front Range. The BBW encompasses a total of 6,000 acres. U.S. Forest Service owns a majority of the land in the BBW; however, Clear Creek County Open Space owns 540 acres over which MALT holds a Conservation Easement.
The BBW is located 3.5 miles west of Bergen Park on Squaw Pass Road, the westward continuation of Jefferson County Route 66. The region’s stunning beauty encompasses a relatively intact ecosystem, joining with surrounding lands to form a 17-mile wildlife and open space corridor from the Mt. Evans Wilderness to Elk Meadow Park in Evergreen. Snowmelt from Mt. Evans fills several reservoirs in the Watershed, supplying water for Clear Creek High School and 500 homes on Lookout Mountain.
Recently, noxious weeds have been invading portions of the BBW, especially in areas with public access trails. Noxious weeds like Musk thistle and Common mullein are disruptive to natural ecological processes. They are aggressive plants with the ability to outcompete native vegetation. Wildlife such as deer and elk find them unpalatable, further encouraging their persistence.
Summer Hiking with MALT
MALT’s Conservation Easements greatly benefit the public by protecting natural resources such as water and soil, scenic views and wildlife habitat. Fortunately, some of our Conservation Easements allow for public access, notably Beaver Brook Watershed in Clear Creek County, and MALT’s newest purchase, Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area, in Park County.
In 2014, MALT decided to launch a Summer Hiking Program to help get members of the public on these properties. Many people attended seven hikes from June to August. Hikes included history on how these properties became conserved and information about wildlife, geology and other natural processes occurring on the land. Some of the notable activities on hikes were learning how to identify common wildlife and wildflowers as well as determine the differences between pine, fir and spruce trees.
One hike at the PMNA was lucky to include Professor Candace Galen of Biological Sciences at Missouri University. She has conducted research at PMNA since the 1970’s, focusing mainly, but not exclusively, on the pollination of the alpine flower, Sky Pilot. Twenty-five research students also attended the hike. Professor Galen, along with the attendees, was able to provide in-depth information on wildlife, plant communities and changing environmental conditions at the PMNA.
The success of the Summer Hiking Program could not have been accomplished without the help of summer intern Susanna Brauer. Susanna is currently in her senior year at Metro State University (MSU) completing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Science with a special focus on Ecological Restoration. She expects to graduate in May 2015. Susanna is also active with the Colorado Wildlife Federation’s MSU Denver Chapter and serves as the Youth Board Director for the Hope Lutheran Church in Aurora, CO.
Though MALT was sad to say good-bye to Susanna, we know she will carry the values she was able to foster at MALT with her forever. “I wish to take ownership of my local wild places and help empower others to do the same,” stated Susanna early in her internship. In 2015, MALT hopes to get more people on hikes so they can learn and connect with the beautiful properties they help conserve. Stay tuned!