Features & Opinions Archive |
News: Features & Opinions Archive (2016)
Date: May 2016
Coal Creek Canyon Park Expansion
Coal Creek Canyon Park Expansion Map
On December 15, 2011 Open Space closed on the 613-acre Booth-Rogers property. The Northeast portion of the property is adjacent to the undeveloped Coal Creek Canyon Park and the South boundary connected to White Ranch Park via two trail easements. The property at one time was much larger and served as a cattle ranch. It had been in the Booth family for 127 years. In the early days, a wagon road passed through the property as an alternate route from Denver and Boulder to Central City. Open Space had an easement on 619 acres adjacent to the west of the property which is adjacent to Golden Gate Canyon State Park, see map.
The easement, a 344 acre strip through the center of the Booth-Rogers property, and 119 acres adjacent to the north of the property were owned by a single ownership who were planning development. After years of negotiation, Open Space was able to get the ownership to agree to sell all but a 10-acre buffer around some ranch buildings on the North piece.
The sale was completed early this year and adds 1076 acres to Coal Creek Canyon Park. Most of the 1689 acres represented by the two purchases are South-facing slope that is moderately wooded, with large meadows, some springs and ponds. Wildlife is abundant.
The property is part of the Ralston Creek Uplands. Comments from the 2011 study by the Colorado Natural Heritage program. The rugged uplands are covered largely with forests and woodlands and include steep granite outcrops. The forest can be extremely dense in places (a sign of past logging), but has been thinned out in others due to spruce bud worm and pine beetle kills. The areas that are less densely forested have a more diverse understory and herbaceous layer. Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) are dominant tree species on the steep and rocky slopes. In some areas the ponderosa pines form savannahs that include spike fescue grass (Leucopoa kingii) forming a rare plant community in the southern section of the site. Common shrubs include mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus), Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum), common juniper (Juniperus communis), Boulder raspberry (Oreobatus deliciosus) and wax currant (Ribes cereum). The shrublands also contain rare plant communities dominated by mountain mahogany and needle-and-thread grass
(Hesperostipa comata). Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) and mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus) dominate large sections forming a matrix with ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir and very healthy and diverse native grassland communities.
Road access is difficult as the Brumm Trail from the East is very narrow and steep. Alternate access from Highway 72 on the North is by an access easement limited to maintenance vehicles.
... visit the Coal Creek Canyon Park page »
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