Date: 9/1/19 3:29 pm
From: Patrick O'Driscoll <patodrisk...>
Subject: Re: [cobirds] Potential loss of Chico Ranch for birding (Pueblo and El Paso counties)
Thanks for the heads-up.
I'll be curious to know just how someone could "inadvertently add" nearly
2,000 acres of Chico Basin Ranch to Stewardship Trust back in 1998.
Count me skeptical of this . . . what, exactly -- excuse? Justification?

Patrick O'Driscoll
Denver


On Sun, Sep 1, 2019 at 4:19 PM linda hodges <hikerhodges...> wrote:

> Bill, and all concerned birders,
>
> Please check the State Land Board's website if you want the full scope of
> what's being considered at Chico.
> https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uzQdtc4yw3_HLoOJ5Rm8zITXOJkMR7Pa/view
>
> The Phillips' lease on Chico is good for 5 more years, so nothing is
> imminent.
>
> You can be assured that Aiken Audubon and the Audubon Colorado Council
> will be following this every step of the way, and will advise you when we
> need to rally the troops. Interestingly, in the board packet the SLB
> staff advised the board that pushback from the community should be
> expected. Indeed!
>
> The SLB will be meeting in Colorado Springs (El Paso County) September
> 11th and 12th. The agenda has not yet been released, but anyone
> interested in attending can check to see when citizens' comments will be
> allowed. I am hoping to attend.
>
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-NbLPHRjORvug3nf38BGvpk-f8zoDI_bic_Id7AUNps/edit
>
>
> Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments.
>
> Linda
>
> *Linda Hodges*
> *Conservation Chair*
> *Aiken Audubon Society *
> *Colorado Springs*
> *<conservation...>* <conservation...>
>
>
> On Sun, Sep 1, 2019, 11:24 AM kickback <bill_kosar...> wrote:
>
>> I read this article in the recent newsletter from the Colorado Springs
>> Aiken Audubon Society. I don't know anything beyond what the article states
>> but if all of the facts in it are correct I think we need to send input to
>> appropriate individuals, especially since it sounds like the state owns
>> Chico Ranch.
>>
>> Comments welcome!
>>
>> Bill Kosar
>>
>> *CHICO BASIN RANCH CONCERNS*
>>
>> * For the past 20 years, Colorado Springs birders—in fact, birders across
>> the state—have been accustomed to wide access to the migratory stopover
>> known as Chico Basin Ranch. That may be about to change. Ranchlands (Duke
>> Phillips and family) holds the lease for Chico from the State Land Board
>> (SLB), which owns the property. The 25-year lease expires in 2024. In their
>> August meeting notes, the SLB devoted 33 pages to re-evaluating the Chico
>> lease and increasing revenue. While the proposed options include selling
>> the entire property for $33 million or continuing to lease to one entity,
>> it would be more profitable for them to split up the ranch. The preferred
>> option seems to be dividing the property into three separate ranches, and
>> potentially selling one off. Public access would likely be denied. Almost
>> half (44%) of Chico is designated into the Stewardship Trust. “The
>> designation is focused on large areas of intact, high quality Central
>> Shortgrass Prairie that include globally significant natural plant
>> communities and imperiled species” (SLB August 2019 Board Meeting
>> Information). Dividing the ranch would obviously fragment wildlife habitat
>> due to increased fencing, new ranch buildings, and differing management
>> styles. This is the largest tract of undeveloped land owned by SLB, and the
>> lack of fragmentation only increases its conservation value as a wildlife
>> and migratory corridor. It’s possible that SLB would put a conservation
>> easement on any property it sold, but that would be a long shot. The State
>> Land Board will be meeting in El Paso County on September 11 and 12.*
>>
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