Monday, December 20, 2010

Pineries master plan draft unveiled

Posted By on Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 11:33 AM

The plan to preserve wildlife and habitat and open to public access parts of the stunning 1,070 acres called The Pineries Open Space will be presented at the Board of County Commissioners meeting Tuesday.

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The land, the largest open space in the county's park system, is located at the intersection of Vollmer Road and Shoup Road in north El Paso County. The goals of the master plan, funded by the county and Great Outdoors Colorado, are:

Broadly stated, the goal of the Pineries Open Space Master Plan is to balance the preservation
of the property’s unique resources with managed public use. In order to accomplish this broad
goal, directional statements, called Planning Parameters, were established that set boundaries for
the balance of public use with preservation. These Planning Parameters recognize that the
property will change over time as natural processes take effect. The Pineries Open Space offers
the opportunity to study this unique environment, and to manage it in a natural state. Even
limited public access will have some impact, but the Planning Parameters used to develop this
plan are intended to minimize that impact.
General goals were also established to guide development of the Master Plan and future use of
the property. The goals and the Planning Parameters work together to provide direction and
structure for the master planning process. The goals of the Pineries Open Space Master Plan
are:
— Provide a place for the recreational use and enjoyment of the citizens of El Paso
County.
Ranch landscape.
  • Ranch landscape.

— Protect and enhance the natural features of the site and wildlife habitat, consistent with
the provisions of the conservation easement (Palmer Land Trust and Morley-Howard
Investments, LLC, 2006).
— Provide educational and interpretive opportunities in the design of facilities and the use
of the property.
— Develop the site as a regional open space area, serving a variety of recreational needs
with mixed use facilities, consistent with intent and standards of the Parks and Leisure
Services Department Master Plan (2005).
— Adhere to the Goals, Policies and Proposed Actions of the Black Forest Preservation
Plan.
— Respect the historical agricultural and ranching heritage and the cultural values of the
property in the design and siting of facilities.
— Minimize impacts on adjacent residential properties in the design and management of
facilities.
— Design, build and establish an operational budget for facilities in a way that is
sustainable, allowing for future expansion as appropriate, providing adequate
maintenance and management, and adjusting the Master Plan and management actions,
if needed, to respect resource values and meet the needs of our citizens.

The plan calls for some areas to be off limits to the public, except those who have permission to conduct research on plant species that are considered rare. Other areas will confine access to trails, and two areas will include some recreational activities.

To read a history of the property and the proposal master plan, go here and click on item one in the second meeting.

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