Fishing Club conservation easement amended

John Scarffe, Gilpin County.  The Boulder River Ranch on Pactolus Road and South Beaver Creek Road requested an amendment to an existing conservation easement for an additional building during a regular meeting of the Gilpin County Commissioners at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at the Gilpin County Courthouse. The Board also received three requests for boundary line eliminations and approved the contract for County Manager Roger Baker.

Cody DeGuelle, director of The FlyFisher Group, said he has completed a significant amount of work with Community Development Director Tony Petersen. Staff members of the non-profit have worked very diligently during the past year-and-a-half to establish the group.

DeGuelle along with J.R. Lapierre, managing director of Lincoln Hills Cares (LHC), and Tim Flynn, LHC program coordinator, presented the mission statement, history and information about the organization. The mission is to form a connection with Colorado youth and cultural history, science, technology, art and environmental conservation. The organization is also dedicated to the aid, recovery and rehabilitation of military veterans and individuals with traumatic brain and spinal cord injury through fly fishing.

In 2007, Matthew Burkett and Associates purchased the Pactolus Ice House and founded the Lincoln Hills Fly Fishing Club. A year later, Burkett and Robert F. Smith purchased the former Lincoln Hills Country Club and began developing it to provide opportunities for youth and individuals with disabilities.

In 2010, Lincoln Hills Cares and Anglers of Honor were founded. They offer a variety of programs for children, teens and veterans. LHC has four programs. The first, Youth Outdoor Education Program, provides experiential outdoor education and recreation programs for youth.

“Thus far this year, 5,300 youth have experienced the rich cultural history of Lincoln Hills, learned about the great outdoors and become responsible stewards of our natural world,” Flynn said.

The program works with other organizations including Wild Bear Ecology Center in Nederland to provide the programming, Lapierre said. All the fishing is catch and release. The equestrian program was established in 2013 for youth and teen girls, many from the Denver Metro area, who engage in equestrian training for personal growth and development.

The collaborative creation of LHC and TEENS, Inc., of Nederland produced the Team Works Service Learning program, which provides summer intensive service learning programs for youth ages 16 to 21 from Denver, Boulder, Gilpin County and Nederland. The program integrates paid work experience with an education in the natural sciences, life skills and career preparation.

Program participants earn $10 an hour and can also earn a scholarship. The program enrolled 38 students last year, and they plan to expand that to 58 next year.

The Anglers of Honor program shares therapeutic fly fishing experiences with those who serve or have served in the U.S. military, along with individuals with traumatic brain injury. The program, which has served 769 participants to date, is dedicated to assisting in the physical and emotional rehabilitation of veterans with disabilities.

LHC will be organizing a Team Works crew of 10 Gilpin County youth who will work on projects in and out of the county. They also hope to collaborate with local youth serving groups to offer summer outdoor education programs for Gilpin County youth and will identify Gilpin County military veterans for the Anglers of Honor program.

Commissioner Gail Watson said they have heard issues from long-term home owners in the area and she hopes they can move toward better community relations. “I had the opportunity to come to the facility, which was quite impressive, but a lot of things we hoped for never materialized. It’s wonderful to see the work you’ve been doing, and I hope we can get some of our kids involved in the program.”

Lapierre said that acquiring this lodge as a result of the conservation easement request before the Board will help their programs to move forward. Petersen said that, to get to the business end of this, Boulder River Ranch has a specific request.

The previous owners gave the County a conservation easement, and it limits building to the 5,000-square-foot fishing lodge, Petersen said. The Board can amend the agreement.
They want to put a few more amenities associated with the lodge. Petersen suggested using just the area that has been disturbed already by the lodge.

DeGuelle said that all facilities are for day use. Board Chair Linda Isenhart said this makes sense and gives them more wiggle room to accommodate programs. Petersen said that they are willing to compensate loss of the conservation space with a $50,000 one-time payment.
“They really have brought it back to a natural area. It will not do any more harm to the environment so I recommend in favor of it,” Petersen said. The Board approved the request to amend the conservation easement.

The Board received three requests for boundary line eliminations. Petersen introduced a request from Melody Loar in the Severance Lodge subdivision to reconfigure three existing small lots into two more slightly larger lots. It would allow them to put their septic system on the same lot as their house.

County Planner Dan Horn introduced a request from the Katherine Titze Living Trust in Dory Lakes #3 to consolidate two lots into one. In the South Pinecliffe subdivision, Rene Gay and Gregory Adrian would like to consolidate ten lots into one lot.

The Board approved all three requests. After an executive session, the Board approved the 2017 contract for County Manager Roger Baker.