Letter to the editor: Appreciating Brian Lorch’s contributions | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Appreciating Brian Lorch’s contributions

Connie Lewis

I am writing to express my appreciation for Brian Lorch’s years of service as Summit County’s Open-Space & Trails director. All of us who live, work and play here owe a debt of gratitude to Brian for his tireless dedication to the preservation and management of our beautiful landscapes, trails and watersheds.

Brian facilitated the purchase of over 13,000 acres of open space through more than 250 individual purchases. He led the effort in the Golden Horseshoe to create a system of over 100 miles of trails and recreational routes in partnership with the Forest Service and Breckenridge that has become a model for other communities, and he initiated dozens of other new trails, including the Cortina trail to connect Silverthorne and Wildernest and an extensive system near Summit Cove.

Brian also led the design and construction of numerous segments of the Swan Mountain Recpath to complete the loop around Dillon Reservoir. He initiated the Fremont Recpath and secured $4.5 million to pay for its construction. Brian’s contributions also include large-scale restorations of the old dredging channels in the Blue and Swan rivers and over a dozen abandoned mine cleanups.

Brian received the Summit Foundation’s 2018 award for Outstanding Nonprofit/Government Professional, but his real legacy is in the landscapes and natural resources that he helped preserve for present and future generations and the enhanced quality of life that we all enjoy as a result of his professionalism and skill.

Brian recently resigned as director but continues to complete open space and trails projects as a part-time consultant. This community is fortunate that Brian’s expertise, knowledge and experience are still available to the staff who remain and, hopefully, to whomever follows in his footsteps. That person will have extraordinarily large shoes to try to fill.

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