Spring 2017 Newsletter

Spring 2017 Newsletter

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.
Read more about this project.

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.

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 landtrustaccreditation.org.

To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit landtrustaccreditation.org, or email your comment to info@landtrustaccreditation.org. 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.