Summit Land Conservancy Will Close On Osguthorpe Conservation Deal

May 14, 2019

Credit Summit Land Conservancy

The Osguthorpe Farm conservation contract is set to close any day now. And, the Summit Land Conservancy has two more conservation easements that should be sewn up this year under the same USDA backed program.

It’s a nearly $18 million purchase for the 158-acre Osguthorpe Heritage farm. The Osguthorpe family donated $3.9 million, individuals contributed 4.5 million and $500,000 came from Summit County. $8.8 million will come from NRCS-National Resources Conservation Service. This program provides financial and technical support for American farmers and ranchers to place land under agricultural easements. The financial assistance obtained through this program is critical to the Summit Land Conservancy successfully securing open space throughout the county. An enduring effort to conserve the Osguthorpe farm on Old Ranch Road in the Snyderville Basin is about to end. Executive Director of Summit Land Conservancy, Cheryl Fox says her team is calling the NRCS every day.

“Our partners at the NRCS continue to do their….they have a list of things they have to check off the boxes. We have all the other money. It’s sitting in an escrow account. Literally, any day now. But we do have two more NRCS projects in Eastern Summit County. One is almost 900 acres in Chalk Creek. And another is about 90 acres on the Weber River. Both of those we hope to close in 2019.”

Utah Open Lands continues to raise money to place the Armstrong Snow Ranch Pastures at the base of Thayne’s Canyon into an agricultural easement. Summit Land is working to help that endeavor. Utah Open Lands needs to raise a little under $1.5 million in the coming weeks.

“Letting people know that it is not saved. There are always misconceptions about that. You know, these are complicated transactions. There’s a lot of money. There’s a lot of players. We want to help, to let people know it is not saved yet. They’ve got about another six weeks to go to raise the money. So, people should visit Utah Open Lands.org or they can call our office. They can visit our website. They can email me. I’m happy to give them more information.

There are a handful of openings this summer at the Land Conservancy. All are paid, some are internships and one is an AmeriCorps position.

“We got a grant from the Park City Board of Realtors to have an internship with high school kids through the summer.  One of those has been filled but I have three more available. They will do a variety of things including working with our kids summer camps programs, helping with some of our summer monitoring, so they will spend most of their time outside.”

Contact caitlin@wesaveland.org if interested in the high school positions.

Sunday, June 2nd the first hops hunting hike will take place. Fox says they like to keep track of where the hops are because they will be making their signature beer again this fall.

Kids camps will begin in June and they have some openings still in the Little Explorers summer camp.