Messages from the President of Rocky Mountain Flycasters.
Big T Properties - July 21, 2005
We have all heard the news that Larimer County is preparing to sell off the properties that it acquired after the 1976 flood. Glen Colton, Frank Cada and Paul Fromme met with Shar Wamsley, Commissioner Wagner, and Gary Buffington, Larimer County Parks Superintendent. My impression is that Superintendent Buffington is trying to find a pragmatic solution to the dilemma imposed by the management of a large number of disparate properties, and is trying to preserve reasonable public access to the river.
First, the disposition of properties will probably take a long time. There are four categories of properties being considered.
Category 1 consists of properties such as Narrows, Forks, Glade, and Sleepy Hollow. The preferred solution for these properties is to seek out someone such as DOW, the Forest Service, or the Park service to take possession and maintenance of these properties. The participation of volunteer organizations such as TU, or the Big Thompson Canyon Parks group, now being formed, would enhance maintenance of these properties.
The second category of properties consists of those areas now being used as places to pull off and fish the river. All of these sites have not been identified. These sites need to be identified and evaluated. Category two sites are to be considered for retention by the County. We have a mutual problem. These sites need to be identified, photographed, and a description of the property prepared. Based upon these evaluations, the properties will be scheduled for retention, upgrade to Category one or downgraded to Category three or four. Category two properties make up approximately 1/2 of the total properties.
How are these roadside access properties to be designated? In other words do we need signage? Should benches be placed in these areas like on the Poudre? Should Route 34 be designated a scenic byway? What does that mean? Can we get funds from National or State to support some of this work? Should we let the Parks people do all the identification of these properties or should we help out? Would TU members with digital cameras, GPS units, and a word processor be willing to take the initiative to identify and describe the properties?
Now, let's discuss Category three. These are properties that are usually adjacent to or between private properties. These properties are not now being used for fishing access, because none of us know where the properties are located, and they appear to be part of the adjacent private property. Nearby landowners have been maintaining these properties and many have encroached onto the County land for their use. It seems unlikely that these properties could be identified and made available for public access. Again, there is an identification and assessment issue.
- Category four properties are properties that are not accessible. Accessibility may be limited by physical constraints such as cliffs, or by intervening private property. Could these properties be upgraded to category two or one? Here again, the problem is evaluation.
The message here is that we can agree to cooperate, and participate in the process, or we can leave the issue to the County. Our participation and cooperation will lead to a more acceptable solution. Let's not attack the process as a whole. Let's participate and object to specific problems, if we can identify the problem and suggest a solution.
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Jul. 21, 2005 - Paul Fromme
We have all heard the news that Larimer County is preparing to sell off the properties…(read more)