Recent county open space buys include Tiger Road Dredge parcel |

Recent county open space buys include Tiger Road Dredge parcel

Summit Daily/Kristin SkvorcRob Neyland, left, and Greg Oswald ride bikes through the Tiger Dredge Open Space Parcel Thursday afternoon. Neyland said this is one of the places he rides most often.

SUMMIT COUNTY – More land was added to local open space coffers recently, including a 3.6-acre parcel in the Swan River drainage with significant recreation values.The Tiger Road Dredge Boat parcel was acquired for $5,000 from the Summit Historical Society, said Todd Robertson, open space and trails department director for Summit County.Two more parcels were acquired in the Snake River Basin, where a tangle of old mining claims and loads presents a patchwork puzzle amidst large areas of U.S. Forest Service land used intensively for recreation.

The county paid $2,200 for a half interest in the Chicago Lode, located on Cooper Mountain and about $9,800 for the Paymaster and Silverball lodes, in the headwaters of Peru Creek, Robertson said, adding that the county is “chipping away” at the private inholdings in the Snake River Basin.”We have been blessed these past 20 years in the overall Snake River Basin that there hasn’t been all that much backcountry development, and we’d like to keep it that way, said Open Space Advisory Council member Mike Clary, who lives in the basin and enjoys the solitude of the backcountry in the area.Clary said there’s been a bit of development around the confluence of Deer Creek and the Snake River, and the Town of Montezuma has grown a little in past years, but the overall backcountry characteristics of the area are still evident.

Clary said the economic downturn of recent years was a boon for the open space race, cooling the real estate market and enabling the county to “catch up” with potential development threats.He said some parcels up the Horseshoe Basin, owned by the City of Golden, are also on the radar screen. “We’d like to see them put a conservation easement on those,” he said.

The county’s open space fund is still armed with almost $3 million available for purchases this year. Of course if it’s not spent, it will be rolled over to next year’s budget, Robertson said.Bob Berwyn can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or at

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