Commissioners to discuss proposals to help conserve properties | SteamboatToday.com

Commissioners to discuss proposals to help conserve properties

— The Routt County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday will consider proposals to spend $2.1 million in dedicated property taxes to help conserve four properties representing a combined 2,060 acres in rural Routt County through the Purchase of Development Rights program.

The conservation easements that would result from the transactions would protect highly visible ranches in western and northern Routt County as well as an area of wetlands near Yampa and another ranch along U.S. Highway 40 that includes high-value wildlife habitat along the Yampa River.

The Nature Conservancy would hold two of the conservation easements and the Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust would hold two others.

The PDR program is funded by a 1.5-mill property tax reapproved by the voters in 2006, nine years after the program originally was approved for a 10-year period. The 2006 renewal is good for 20 years.

The 437 acres identified as Camilletti and Sons Inc. involves 437 acres of a family ranch that supports aquatic and bird species. The land is visible from U.S. Highway 40 west of Steamboat Springs where the Yampa River parallels the highway, according to a memo to the county commissioners from the PDR Advisory Board.

Finger Rock, in South Routt, would preserve 365 acres adjacent to an existing 255-acre wetland bank approved by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The conservation of 634 acres of the Pankey Ranch close to the Routt/Moffat county line also is visible from U.S. 40 and Routt County Road 78.

The Colorado Cattlemen's Agriculture Land Trust's easement on the Redmond Trapper Ranch would conserve 624 acres of ag land and wildlife habitat in South Routt. The parcel is attached to another 350 acres that are part of a historic family ranch that enjoys a 4,500-acre Forest Service grazing permit.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com