The Summit Land Conservancy continues to raise funds to preserve the Osguthorpe Farm on Old Ranch Road and they’ve successfully expanded a conservation easement in the Sun Peak neighborhood in the Snyderville Basin. KPCW’s Carolyn Murray has this:
A 63-acre conservation easement held by the Summit Land Conservancy since 2006 will expand to include 5 additional acres above the Enclave Development. The property had platted and approved development rights. Cheryl Fox, Executive Director of Summit Land Conservancy told KPCW they received a significant discount from the developer. The Home Owners Association will eventually hold the property and manage the use and access to it.
“It’s not really a huge amount of acres but it does contain a portion of a gully which has a really rich bio-diversity. And, it also does remove 10 development rights from that neighborhood and I know people in the Sun Peak area and the construction vehicles going up and down and all that creates a lot of wear and tear on the roads and in the neighborhood. So, this was an interesting little project. And, again, Steve Urry, the developer, agreed to walk away from a pretty considerable development value that he held up there. And, the neighbors also stepped up to help make this possible. We are buying it at a very steep discount and then we will expand the existing conservation easement to encompass the land that we are buying. And, eventually, the HOA will hold the property.”
Fox said they spent less than $2 million-dollars to purchase the parcel that included 10 development rights. The funding came mostly from the Sun Peak and Enclave neighborhood homeowners.
“You know, as with every conservation project that we do, we get gifts large and small and so some people have stepped up in a really big way. You know, on the other hand, there are donations coming at $25-dollars. And, it all matters. Every little bit matters."
Fox said the Osguthorpe conservation efforts on Old Ranch Road in Snyderville continue. They will lose federal funds if they can’t raise 1.7 million dollars by March.
“We have about 120 days. So, we are getting pretty excited about this. You know, if we don’t have the money by the end of March, we’re going to lose that $8.8 million federal grant as well as whatever funding we have managed to bring in for this, which at this point, is over $3 million. So, we are actively seeking people to step up and participate. We are going to send a mailing out to everybody in park City. Because we feel like there are probably some people who haven’t heard it on the radio or haven’t seen it around. And there are also some misconceptions. We want to make sure that everybody does know that this is an opportunity that we still have and we need to gather around to make it happen if we want to save the green heart of the basin.”
Fox is worried that people think the Farm is a done deal and that the conservation easement is in place.
“We made the down payment last March. And people thought it’s done but as we know a down payment is just that, a down payment. You got to come up with more money and we are in that situation now.”
With the Treasure Hill bond passing and the Bonanza Flat purchase last year, Fox is still confident people will step up to help save the Osguthorpe Farm.
“I know there have been a lot of opportunities. You know, sitting here in the KPCW studio, we have a gorgeous view of Treasure Hill and the blue sky and the trees all covered with snow. You know these opportunities come along and sometimes they all pop up at the same time. And we have an opportunity to seize them and say, okay were just going to just make this happen or they are lost forever.”
The next Moonshine Adventure is December 21st. Fox said for those who want to come, bring warm clothes, a headlamp, a mug for hot cider and snow shoes.
“We are going to lead a snow shoe out in Steven’s Grove. This is the natural area that we protected in Oakley. People can meet at the Oakley Town Hall at 7PM or maybe a little bit before 7PM. And then, it’s a short walk down to the property or we’ll probably have a little bit of shuttle. There is just no parking at Steven’s Grove, so we ask that people park at City Hall, at Oakley City Hall. You know, we are so fortunate that we had…you know, this again, was an opportunity to leverage some government funding from Summit County. The town of Oakley was a huge partner. Our usual conservation partners like the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation, Vail Epic Promise supports these kinds of things. But, you know, we also had over a hundred donations from individuals.”
Go to: wesaveland.org to RSVP for the Moonshine Adventure or to learn more about Summit Land Conservancy’s projects including how to help fund the agricultural preservation of the Osguthorpe Farm.