Estes Valley Land Trust is pleased to announce that it has closed on a second newly conserved property in two weeks. The Crownover Conservation Easement, located on Jacob Road near Little Valley, has been forty years in the making.
Leo Weber, Estes Valley Land Trust Vice President, first met Norris and Judy Crownover in 1976, as a young woodworker. “Norris was gracious and shared his cabin with me,” Weber said.
“I was a young guy and had just moved to Estes Park. I was living out of a van and Norris offered to let me stay in his cabin,” recalled Weber. “I couldn’t pass up the offer.”
Now the cabin, and the forty acres on which it sits, are permanently protected with a conservation easement held by the Estes Valley Land Trust. The easement closed on December 9th.
The Crownover Conservation Easement has dramatic views into the East Fork of Fish Creek and Little Valley. Also it can be seen from prominent recreational areas, including Twin Sisters Peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park, The Crags, and Kruger Rock in Hermit Park Open Space.
The property is surrounded on two sides by the Arapaho/Roosevelt National Forest and is adjacent to the Cheley Camp property to the south.
“The fact that this new conservation easement borders the Cheley Camp and buffers them from major development activity is very exciting for us,” said Jeffrey Boring, Estes Valley Land Trust Executive Director.
“Cheley Camp is a fixture in Estes Park and thousands of kids over the years have fallen in love with the outdoors and Estes Park through the camp,” stated Boring. “We’re glad we can give back by helping protect their borders and ensure the camp remains in a natural setting.”
The Crownover Conservation Easement is located in a dramatic setting of large rock outcrops and open forests and contains an intermittent stream.
The property has been identified by Colorado Parks and Wildlife as providing habitat for deer, elk and bighorn sheep. The conservation easement ensures these natural features and the wildlife habitat they provide will be protected forever.
“It’s so nice to be able to work with Leo and donate this conservation easement to the Estes Valley Land Trust,” said Norris Crownover. “The forty acres and old cabin have been a special place for us over the years. We have lots of good memories up there and it’s good to know it’s not going to change much.”
Weber and Boring expressed their appreciation to the Crownovers for their commitment to preserving the beauty of the community.
How healthy are our forests after the pine bark beetle epidemic? What other diseases and insects are affecting our forests? Is it true that treatments for pine beetles can make trees susceptible to other problems? how can I help my trees stay healthy?
EAGLE ROCK CONSERVATION EASEMENT
Estes Valley Land Trust (EVLT) begins its Educational Summer Breakfast Series on Saturday, June 11th at 8 a.m. This first event is entitled “What’s Happening in Our Forests?” and features two experts who will discuss forest health and factors currently affecting our trees. It will be held outdoors on the grounds of Eagle Rock School. The public is welcome. The deadline for reservations is Monday, June 6th.
Attendees to EVLT’s Breakfast Series enjoy a delicious catered breakfast and socializing in a beautiful outdoor setting, followed by an educational program. This year’s series, themed “Woods and Water,” explores the changing dynamics of our forests, rivers and streams.
Two speakers will present at this June 11 event. Boyd Lebeda, District Forester for Colorado State Forest Service, will discuss the findings of a 2015 study investigating the current health of Colorado’s forests. He will also address various forestry issues in Colorado.
Brian Verhulst, Forest Ecologist at Rocky Mountain National Park, will discuss undesired impacts from bark beetle treatments, including various diseases and insect infestations, that are being seen in landowners’ trees.
The location of this breakfast event, at the base of Eagle Rock, will lend a dramatic setting for the discussion on forest health. In 1993 the founder of Eagle Rock School, American Honda Education Corporation, forever preserved the natural beauty of 463 acres of the property’s open space with a conservation easement held by EVLT.
The charge for the event is $15 ($5 for K-12 students, $0 for preschoolers), payable by check or cash at the breakfast. The delicious breakfast is served by Catering for All Occasions and includes an egg entrée, fresh fruit, pastries, juice, and hot coffee.
Reservations for the breakfast event are required no later than Monday, June 6th at 5 p.m. You may call the Land Trust office at 970-577-6837 (you may leave a message) OR send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The first and last name of each attendee should be provided so name tags can be made in advance. Please provide an email address so you can be notified of an alternate location in case of rain. All reservations will be confirmed.
To reach the Eagle Rock School Conservation Easement from Estes Park, remember that Dry Gulch Road is closed at Highway 34. Instead, leave Estes Park traveling north on MacGregor Avenue until it reaches the entrance to MacGregor Ranch. The road makes a sharp right as it becomes Devils Gulch Road. Continue 3 miles. Veer right on H Bar G Road. Proceed 0.4 mile and turn right on Dry Gulch Road, passing the “road closed” sign. After 0.2 mile, turn left on Notaiah Road. (There is a sign for Eagle Rock School.) Continue on this road, following the “Land Trust” signs to the parking area for the event.
Please remember this event will be held outdoors. Bring your own chair, a jacket, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and drinking water for personal use after breakfast. As always, dress appropriately for unpredictable weather.
John and Sally Stevenson
We have developed this spotlight feature because we want the world to know that we have many awesome members of EVLT. Take, for example, John and Sally Stevenson. John and Sally have been faithful EVLT members and supporters since they moved here in 2006. They do not own a conservation easement property, yet they are committed to EVLT’s mission. In addition to becoming members, they also have been volunteer easement monitors since 2006, and have completed over 60 monitoring site visits and reports. They have partied with us at least twenty times over the years, attending breakfasts and special events.
Sally and John say it “feels weird being spotlighted as a volunteer for the Land Trust, as the pleasures and benefits of volunteering are all ours! After moving to Estes Park in 2006, we were looking for ways to become involved in the community…ways to ‘give back’ to this place where we are so fortunate to retire. After attending an EVLT breakfast, we were impressed with the vision to “preserve” the Estes Valley for future generations and decided that we could do this! Monitoring properties for the Land Trust allows us to visit and explore private properties that are otherwise off limits to the public. It is a joy to get to know these owners who honor this same vision. Attending the breakfasts and fundraisers helps us connect with others around our common interests of exploring and preserving this beautiful valley we all call home. And yes, Land Trust parties are just plain fun! Our thanks to the EVLT staff and Board who make all this possible.”
And our thanks to supporters like John and Sally who are helping EVLT ensure that the Estes Valley remains the beautiful place that we all love.