I agree that 5 years is a ways off but it is better to be proactive vs
reactive and we currently have a governor and legislature that would look
at our concerns from a fairly positive perspective. I think our goal should
be maintaining long term public access to the various birding "hot spots"
on the ranch.
On Sunday, September 1, 2019 at 4:29:34 PM UTC-6, paddyo'bird wrote:
> 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
> On Sun, Sep 1, 2019 at 4:19 PM linda hodges <hiker......>
>> 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
>> 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 Hodges*
>> *Conservation Chair*
>> *Aiken Audubon Society *
>> *Colorado Springs*
>>> 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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