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The GOCO Board awarded Summit County an $866,049 grant to permanently conserve the Knorr Ranch
Contact: Rosemary Dempsey, 303-226-4530, firstname.lastname@example.org
DENVER – On Thursday, the GOCO Board awarded Summit County an $866,049 grant to permanently conserve the Knorr Ranch.
This grant is part of GOCO’s open space grant program, which funds private and public land conservation projects that give outdoor recreationists a place to play (or simply enjoy the view), protect wildlife habitat, safeguard the state’s water supply and watersheds, and sustain local agriculture.
Summit County and Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) partnered with two neighboring landowners to form the Knorr Ranch Conservation Partnership and place 1,123 acres of lakefront ranchland into conservation easement. Knorr Ranch is located in the Lower Blue River Valley at the northern end of Summit County, adjacent to Green Mountain Reservoir. It was one of the largest remaining private landholdings in the county.
The property includes gently rolling irrigated hay meadows and sagebrush uplands, as well as 50 acres of wetlands, and makes up a significant part of the visible shoreline of the reservoir. It is the foreground of the Eagles Nest Wilderness and the Gore Range and is visible to travelers on State Highway 9.
This project protects wildlife habitat and migration corridors by tying together past and present land conservation efforts by Summit County, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, CCALT, and the Continental Divide Land Trust. The conservation easement also ties some of the most senior water rights in Summit County to the land, contributing to watershed health.
Summit County will lease 505 acres of the land for grazing and hay production, in keeping with the rich agricultural heritage of the Lower Blue Basin. Its potential for future public access and recreation is yet to be determined.
To date, GOCO has invested $7.6 million in Summit County projects and has conserved more than 1,600 acres of land in the county. GOCO funding has supported Dillon Valley Elementary School’s playground, the Golden Horseshoe and Blue River trails, Peabody Nordic and Backcountry Recreation Area, Doig Homestead Open Space and Cow Camp Open Space, among other projects.
Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 4,800 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support. Visit GOCO.org for more information.