End of Year Message

Hi Open Boulder Friends,

As we close out 2018, we’d like to thank you for your continued support and assure you that even though the 2017 city council elections were disappointing to us and for our city, we’re here to stay.

Open Boulder was founded to encourage openness and accountability in local government and to protect public access to public land. Our successes include helping with the election of three council members in 2015, a positive outcome in the North Trail Study Area, and passing term limits, both in 2016.

We’ve been doing a lot of reflecting over the past year (largely why we’ve been so quiet) which has helped us learn good lessons--mainly that we should stick to what we care about and needs the most attention. It is with that motivation that we are relaunching with a clear focus on good governance and sustainable access to Open Space.

We will continue working to provide citizens the voice and inspiration to get involved in local politics and we hope we can count on your involvement in the coming months. We will be reaching out to see what good governance issues you care about and what's most important to you regarding our public land. Expect to see another email from us...and please let us know what you think!

In January we will be hosting two “Get on Board” sessions to help citizens get involved in the community by applying to be on a board or commission. Keep an eye out for those dates.

Speaking of getting on boards. If you have interest in joining Open Boulder, please reach out to us at info@openboulder.org. We can always use smart, passionate folks to help make Boulder a better and more open place to live.

Happy New Year,

Open Boulder Board of Directors

Two Important Surveys for Open Space…

Hi Friends of Open Boulder & Public Lands!

Rarely do the citizens of a community have the opportunity to impact access to their open space in an efficient, but effective manner. Please take 5 minutes to participate as the numbers of positive comments do have an impact on the process.

Two surveys are currently open for citizen participation:

Eldo to Walker:

  • Public comments on the Eldorado Canyon trail to connect to Walker Ranch (this would be a regional singletrack, multi-use connection from Plains to the Peak-to-Peak). This does not exist in Boulder County at present. Please provide your thoughts by midnight, Dec. 9.

  • Boulder Mountainbike Alliance has provided a few succinct talking points to help in the comment sections.


OSMP Master Plan, Community Connections and Agriculture:

  • Please take a little time to share your ideas to help Boulder ensure an inclusive open space future, with welcoming outreach and volunteer programming, and to help the community preserve and enjoy Boulder’s agricultural lands. Please provide your thoughts by midnight, Dec. 18.

  • Open Boulder has provided talking points to assist in the comment sections.

  • Background information is here.


Open Boulder Board

Open Boulder's Comment on the OSMP Master Plan focus area Responsible Recreation

To OSMP:

Since our inception, the Open Boulder’s mission has been to connect people to our community’s treasured places in a sustainable manner and to assure that the voices of responsible citizens who enjoy recreating on our public lands are heard.

To that end, we have a two-prong mission to increase government transparency and access to our public lands. Local city (and county) government decisions are ones that impact us the most. Open Boulder supports and encourages initiatives that will improve representation for Boulder’s broader population and encourage openness and accountability in local government decisions. We applaud the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Park’s Master Planning process.

Open Boulder fully believes that environmentalism and outdoor recreation go hand in hand. Many of us actively use City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks to hike, climb, run, bike and walk our dogs, and we value the ability to experience nature so close to an urban environment. To that end, we gladly pay open space taxes and we want local land managers to promote and expand recreational opportunities to distribute and balance use more evenly across the system. We believe that connecting people to our community’s treasured places in a sustainable manner is exactly what we need to do to build support for conservation.

We are concerned that striking a balance between recreational access and habitat protection will be based more on politics and horse trading than good science and modern management strategies. No studies exist that show that any species has been eliminated or severely degraded due to any type of recreational activity on Boulder City open space. We fully endorse the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance position that “the Master Plan should require open space management be based on data that was acquired using science and management best practices, because what we are not measuring (monitoring) we will never be able to manage effectively. Only a science-based and data-driven approach provides transparency and accountability, which are required for people to have trust in the process and the results.”

Open Boulder appreciates the opportunity to weigh in on the Responsible Recreation, Stewardship, and Enjoyment Focus Area. It is our intention that the values of outdoor recreationalists need to be stated explicitly in the master plan:

  • Promote plans, processes and budgets that promote long-term stewardship, excellent infrastructure, and encourage sustainable recreation.

  • Promote and expand recreational opportunities to distribute and balance use more evenly across the system.

  • Base management solutions on the best available data and science as well as monitoring protocols.

  • Maintenance of current open space stock should take precedence over acquisition of new properties. Acquired properties should by default be open, accessible and strategic to connect open space for both recreation and habitat.

In Cooperation,

Open Boulder Board of Directors

Michelle Estrella, Chair

Alex Lindsay

Bill Rigler

Brady Robinson

Buzz Burrell

Jan Burton

Jennifer Egbert

Jessica Yates

Shelly Dunbar

About Open Boulder

We are a grass roots, nonpartisan movement of open-minded, pragmatic and moderate individuals of all ages, cultures and economic backgrounds who want to ensure that the amazing assets that brought them here are open for all for generations to come. We are a grassroots, nonpartisan movement of open-minded, pragmatic and moderate individuals of all ages, cultures and economic backgrounds. We are parents, we are young and not-so-young professionals, students and recent grads, long-time residents and recent arrivals. We are employees and business owners, entrepreneurs and technology workers. We are outdoor enthusiasts and outdoor athletes, we are animal lovers, and we are environmentalists.

Important Opportunity to Protect Access to Public Land

The workshop on "Responsible Recreation, Stewardship and Enjoyment" focus area for the Master Plan held Monday 11/5 was well attended...but, access to open space still needs your attention.

Please take this online survey (<10 mins) and make sure your vision of public lands is included.

Remember to address issues important to you personally and how you enjoy (or want to enjoy) our public lands.

Issues of concern:

  • Night time access to trails

  • Off trail travel

  • Multi-use trails

  • Dogs on open space

Suggestion: Make a brief statement of how, when, where & why you use currently use OS and what you desire in the future, e.g. I run with my dog at Joder Ranch each morning at 5AM to maintain my health and sanity...I want to see more opportunities to do this on other OS areas in the future!

SURVEY LINK HERE!

Additional Information from the Workshop.

Letter to the Editor: Community Input on Open Space Sought

Since our inception, Open Boulder’s mission has been to connect people to our community’s treasured places in a sustainable manner. Environmentalism and outdoor recreation go hand in hand. Many of us actively use City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks to hike, climb, run, bike and walk our dogs, and we value the ability to experience nature so close to an urban environment.

How we manage our public lands is currently being discussed and debated in order to develop a 20-year Master Plan for OSMP. The next opportunity for people who enjoy our public lands to have a substantive impact on the process is the Community Workshop on “Responsible Recreation, Stewardship, and Enjoyment.” This public comment event will be key to the master planning process for Open Space & Mountain Parks and will help determine access policies for public lands over the next decade and beyond… so it’s important!

The community workshop offers the opportunity for everyone to give their input on issues such as night time access, dogs on OS, off-trail hiking, multi-use trails, acquisitions of property for OS, and planning methodologies.

We urge you to attend the Community Workshop Monday Nov 5, 2018 at the Jewish Community Center, 6007 Oreg Ave in Boulder from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Open Boulder will be providing free, licensed childcare and pizza so busy families can attend the event and be represented. Please RSVP at info@openboulder.org with your name, number of children and their ages. Child ages limited from 3-10 years old and a total number of kids at 12.

Hope to see you all November 5th

Alex Lindsay

Board Member of Open Boulder

Access to Local Public Lands Workshop Nov 5th

Hi Friends of Open Boulder & Open Space,

This is a call to action to those who care about access to public land!

We urge you to attend the OSMP Master Plan Community Workshop Monday Nov 5, 2018 at the Jewish Community Center, 6007 Oreg Ave in Boulder from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. The Master Plan is “to guide the management of our community’s open space over the next decade and beyond.” So it’s important. The community workshop on Nov. 5 is for everyone to give their input on “Responsible Recreation, Stewardship, and Enjoyment”.

In-person comments and conversation have a significant positive impact on what’s at stake, namely these recreation concerns:

  • Night time access to trailheads, trails and open space

  • Dog access on trails and open space

  • Off trail access or cross country travel

  • Multi-use trail access

  • Prioritizing maintaining current OS rather than purchasing expensive properties

  • Planning methodologies that are not a fair process

Please share this information with your friends and anyone else you feel would like to know.
 
Open Boulder is planning a get-together in November in order to hear more of how you would like your public lands to be managed.  Details will be forthcoming.

We look forward to seeing everyone there...oh! and parents...
 
Open Boulder will be providing childcare for outdoor recreation advocates attending the event. Please RSVP at info@openboulder.org with your name, number of children and their ages. Child ages limited from 3-10 yo and a total number of kids at 12. OB will also provide pizza and a drink for parents and kids.

Open Boulder Board

Open Boulder Comments on Open Space and Mountain Parks Master Plan

The following letter was submitted to Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks staff on March 30, 2018.

Dear City Open Space & Mountain Parks Staff:

Open Boulder welcomes the opportunity to submit comments on the Open Space &
Mountain Parks Master Plan during the first engagement window. The City has posed
the question, “What Are Your Values, Hopes and Concerns for Boulder Open Space?”
We have identified several areas of focus for our comments. We look forward providing
greater detail and specific suggestions during future engagement windows; for the time
being we have kept our comments general in nature.

Habitat and Recreational Access

We appreciate the incredible open space system we have built, with all its values,
including ecosystem protection, wildlife viewing and recreation. We appreciate the
ability to run, hike, climb, bike, walk dogs on and off leash, ride horses, observe nature
and enjoy peace and solitude. We value the ability to balance busy schedules and
access open space before and after dark with headlamps. We value being able to
access climbing areas and boulders, including those that don't have a designated trail to
them.

We value recreational closures to protect wildlife that are based on good science, are
limited in time and space to the greatest extent possible, and that are actively
monitored and lifted when the underlying concern has passed. We believe most user
conflicts can be mitigated through management best practices, including physical and
temporal separation. We are concerned that certain user groups who have been vilified
in past planning processes could be vilified once again in the future. We hope that the
city and our community can see that nearly everyone who is passionate about open
space is also dedicated to protecting it, not matter their preferred manner of enjoying
it.

We are concerned that striking a between recreational access and habitat/resource
protection will be based more on politics and horse trading than good science and
modern management strategies. We are concerned about management actions that
may result in a net loss of recreational access with little environmental gain. We hope that concerns regarding increased usage and impacts will inspire the City to build
infrastructure and take management actions that disperse usage. We hope that overly
simplistic management methodologies (ie carrying capacity) are supplanted by more
holistic and nuanced methodologies, such as limits of acceptable change.

Financial Health

We value a well funded open space system that enjoys broad public support. We are
concerned that too much focus on land acquisitions far from our city center and of
dubious public value will continue to divert our attention and resources from managing
and caring for what we already have. We hope world class management planning,
infrastructure and stewardship will define the next era of Boulder’s open space system.

Infrastructure and Maintenance

We value well defined, durable trails that encourage good behaviors from the public.
We appreciate bathroom facilities and trash receptacles that are well placed and
maintained. We hope that the City will invest in well engineered and constructed trail
systems that will endure the upcoming period of population growth and open space
visitation. We are concerned that this has not been a high enough priority in the recent
past. We challenge the City to look at other parks (and even civilizations such as the
Inca) that have successfully taken a multi-generational approach to trail construction
and stewardship. This will take a serious commitment of time, money and political will
to achieve. We believe we can do it.

Trail Networks and Regional Connectivity

We value our rich and growing network of trails, which disperse usage and support a
diverse range of rec options. We value the ability to get from point A to point B without
having to drive a car. We hope that future trail plans and land acquisitions focus on
connectivity, close to home access, and dispersing usage patterns.

Acquisitions

We value land acquisitions that accommodate a diverse range of users. We encourage
the city to prioritize those properties and easements of greatest public value, and to be
willing spend more on management and stewardship vs less crucial acquisition
opportunities.

About Open Boulder

Open Boulder is the voice of Boulder-area citizens who came to this community to “live,
work and play,” and who want to ensure that the amazing assets that brought them
here are open for all for generations to come.

We are a grassroots, nonpartisan movement of open-minded, pragmatic and moderate
individuals of all ages, cultures and economic backgrounds. We are parents, we are
young and not-so-young professionals, students and recent grads, long-time residents
and recent arrivals. We are employees and business owners, entrepreneurs and
technology workers. We are outdoor enthusiasts and outdoor athletes, we are animal
lovers, and we are environmentalists.

Sincerely,
Jessica Yates, Chair, Open Boulder
Brady Robinson, Board Member, Open Boulder