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


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 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.