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Red Barn Land Grant To Utah Open Lands has One Condition

Snow Ranch Pastures
Utah Open lands

Utah Open Lands is feverishly working to secure the final funds needed to preserve the 19-acre Snow Ranch Pastures in Park City’s Thayne’s Canyon neighborhood. The deadline is Sunday. On Wednesday, Utah Open Lands announced the 16-acre Red Barn parcel, contiguous to the pastures, will be put under a conservation easement granted by the longtime landowner.

The conditions the property owner is placing on the land grant is outlined in this story.

The land grant depends on the successful purchase of the Snow Ranch Pastures conservation easement. Park City Council voted unanimously to donate $550,000 toward the purchase. Executive Director, Wendy Fisher says Kerry Armstrong, owner of the Red Barn parcel will grant a conservation easement to Utah Open Lands in memory of her husband, Mel. She will remain living on the property.  Fisher says she has talked with the family for years about their dream to preserve the land.

“Looking forward to bringing a heartfelt dream into reality which is the protection of the big, red barn and its associated pastures. This is a gift that Carry doesn’t want to make unless and until the pastures are protected. But, it’s really hard to even express from my perspective, what this means to the community. It’s a priceless treasure and a priceless gift.”

Fisher explains the land grant is valued at multi millions of dollars.

“This is one of those iconic landscapes. The barn was built in the 1920’s and she and Mel have lived there. She lives there now. And, she and Mel began restoring this barn in the 70’s. This is a property that has been in the Armstrong name since the 30’s. It had dairy Cows that routinely won first place at the state fair. And, it was where Mel, her husband, grew up with his grandfather. You know Herb was there as well.”

Fisher has visited both parcels and says stunning winter trails could be built on the Snow Ranch Pasture property.  It’s unclear if the Red Barn property would have access to the popular 136- acre Armstrong Trail which was established in 2009.

“I have been up there looking at the trail alignment as well. And, I got to tell you, it is one of those unique view-scapes of Park city area. And, something that I don’t think is really available right now. I mean, we love the Nordic skiing. That is tremendous and awesome. But, I know there are a lot of people that like to hike and snow shoe and just get out and have that moment of solace. And, that’s what that trail would provide.”

Fisher says conservation easement is a gift to the community. It will be held by Utah Open Lands and it will be protected forever.

“This is a gift in complete that doesn’t require any additional funding if we’re able to secure the pastures. You know, Carry’s intention has always been to see this protected, because she and Mel always had a conservation ethic for the landscape.”

Fisher wants people to understand that the Red Barn property won’t be granted unless Utah Open Lands can close on the conservation easement for the Snow Ranch parcel.

“So, it represents a huge value of a contribution for sure, but again, it’s a jewel really in the necklace of open space that surrounds this city. And that is part of Park City. It’s part of the park in Park City. It’s that open space.”

Donations made to Utah Open Lands.org will go directly to the Snow Ranch Pasture purchase. All donations will be returned if they fail to raise the money needed to close on the property. 

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