Open Space and Trails is dedicated to utilizing creative protection techniques to preserve and protect the county’s significant and threatened open spaces. The program focuses on lands that most contribute to the county’s quality of life and rural mountain character, including those with the following characteristics, in no particular order:
- Access: Lands that provide trailheads or public access to recreation areas on National Forest and other significant properties.
- Agricultural / Cultural: Lands that contribute significantly to Summit County’s past, including agricultural lands with irrigated meadows or open cropland, ranching areas, and historic sites.The historic, cultural, or social significance of these types of properties should contribute to the community’s identity and well being.
- Buffers: Natural and undeveloped lands which separate and buffer the impacts of development, define the boundaries of urbanized areas, prevent urban sprawl and strip development, and contribute to the rural mountain quality of the local landscape.
- Extensions: Land adjacent to publicly held property which meets open space criteria guidelines and which can combine with other open space properties to enlarge and / or connect existing open space parcels.
- Recreational: Lands with significant recreational value, particularly non-motorized passive uses not requiring intensive maintenance or management.
- Unique Lands: Lands possessing unique values such as outstanding (but not necessarily generally visible) scenic quality, rare flora, riparian quality, wetlands, critical wildlife habitat, fragile alpine areas, or unusual geologic,or topographical formations.
- View Corridors: Lands with high aesthetic appeal and variety within major viewsheds, whose lands are generally visible, apparent, and appreciated by residents and visitors and through preservation will maintain the rural mountain appearance of Summit County.