Friends of the Lower Blue River supports GOCO grant |

Friends of the Lower Blue River supports GOCO grant

SILVERTHORNE – The Friends of the Lower Blue River (FLBR) has sent a $500 check to the Summit County Open Space program to help match a much larger state grant for the purchase of the Cow Camp open space.

FLBR is a group working to maintain the rural character, quality of life and the environment of the Lower Blue River Valley.

Because open space in the valley is a prime concern, the group offered to match $500 of the Great Outdoors Colorado $463,431 grant toward the Cow Camp purchase, part of a larger $1.83 million sale price.

“We were very pleased with the county’s decision to go forward with the purchase of the Cow Camp property, even though it meant the county was risking a lack of funds for pending and future acquisitions,” said Lynn Amstutz, who serves on the FLBR board and the Summit County Open Space Advisory Council.

FLBR asked the GOCO board to support the grant request. This acquisition was a critical part of the puzzle of maintaining the rural and open space character of the Lower Blue Valley by Green Mountain Reservoir.

Cow Camp was already subdivided into 14 lots of 40-plus acres each for development. The original listing price was $5 million. The county negotiated a deal that reduced the price to $1.83 million, if it could close by the end of 2002.

The protection of the Cow Camp parcel allows for a continuous corridor of highly visible, publicly owned land from this property south to the recently acquired Doig Meadow, Amstutz said.

The Cow Camp parcel protects a variety of habitats, open space values and ranching history that are threatened in the Lower Blue River Valley, Amstutz said.

She said the Lower Blue Valley is unique in Summit County as the only place not directly impacted by a ski resort. Some ranching and open space is much as it was in the 1800s, she noted.

“There is no other place in Summit County where this is true. Historically, the Snake and Upper Blue were similar. The Lower Blue has always been a valley of ranching,” she said.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of FLBR can contact Karn Stiegelmeier, (970) 468-9013 or e-mail

The group’s next meeting is 6:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at the North Branch Library in Silverthorne.

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