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.

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.  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.  

Thank you to our Business Sponsors who support Land and Water Conservation. 

Mountain Area Land Trust News                               Fall 2016

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.

Past Newsletter Issues

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
 

Non-profit Landowners Can Earn Tax Credits

MALT works with non-profit landowner after new state ruling

MALT is nearing completion on a voluntary land conservation agreement with the Boys Scouts of America, Pikes Peak Council Camp Alexander near Lake George, Park County.  With approximately 330 acres, this project is one of the first non-profit voluntary land conservation agreement in the state.  In March 2014, the Colorado Department of Revenue issued a Private Letter Ruling in response to a request challenge by the Conservation Resource Center (CRC) that allowed non-profits, generally 501(c)(3) entities, to also qualify for tax credits.  This allows them to sell the tax credits for cash. This new ruling offers non-profit landowners (camps, retreats, religious organizations, etc.) to become potential voluntary land conservation agreement donors.


Camp Alexander has significant conservation values, including over a half mile of land along the South Platte River which is a high quality trout fishery.  Based on the property’s geological features it also offers quality mountain lion and bobcat habitat.  The camp is situated on a scenic byway located between Lake George and the Eleven Mile Reservoir - a popular area visited by high numbers of recreational travelers.  Conservation of the property will continue to provide an opportunity for the general public to appreciate its scenic values.  If you know of a non-profit landowner, please feel free to share this information and put them in touch with MALT at 303-679-0950.

 

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.

Sign up here.

 

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! 

 Find the full schedule here.

 

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.

Thank you to our Business Sponsors who support Land and Water Conservation. 



Join our Mailing List!

 
 

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]

 

Welcome Charlie Farrell

New Board Member joins MALT Board of Directors

Charlie Farrell, CEO with Northstar Investment Advisors, LLC, joined the MALT Board in January.  His work with Northstar focuses on assisting individuals and families with the management of their personal wealth including portfolio investment management, retirement income management and portfolio tax management.

 

Charlie and his wife live in Genesee, Colorado and enjoy skiing, hiking and fishing throughout the state.  Welcome Charlie!

 

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.


This is why MALT, Clear Creek County Open Space and the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture worked together to conduct a noxious weed eradication event this past summer. Crews from each entity worked all day to spray, pull and remove noxious weeds in two areas containing public hiking trails. Spraying herbicide was targeted only to noxious weeds and completed in a manner consistent with Clear Creek County’s Noxious Weed Management Plan. The treatment was done at time when many of the plants’ rosettes had not gone to seed, limiting the likelihood of future infestation. Whilst the project required heavy lifting and hard work, the work completed will have a long-lasting, positive impact on the natural resources and enjoyment of recreation seekers.

This project truly was a collaborative effort. MALT would like to thank Ted Brown, Clear Creek County Weed Supervisor, and his work-crew as well as Patty York, Early Detection and Rapid Response Specialist with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, for their coordination and expertise in seeing this project through to completion.

 

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!

Did you know that 75% of conserved land is now held by an accredited land trust? MALT is proud to be an accredited member of the Land Trust Alliance, a distinction held by only 10% of all land trusts. (Source: Land Trust Alliance)