saving the land you call home
FALL 2012 NEWSLETTER
President, Board of Directors
days get shorter
and frostier in
I find myself
is, tucked away
western slope of the
When we meet our neighbors and colleagues, our conversation always seems to
turn to how we spend our free time. Whether we were hiking, biking, or working in
the garden, it is always crystal clear that for our community, spending time outside
in our beautiful natural valley is of the utmost importance to our quality of life.
We soak in, on a daily basis, the incredible views, and breathe in the crisp, clean air.
And we are all appreciative – none of us take this for granted.
Our community will remain extraordinary because of the regular generosity of
people like you. Believe me, your support of the Land Trust is valued – you have
taken the lead and supported the preservation of working ranches, the creation of
trails where appropriate, and the protection of iconic and irreplaceable views. We
simply couldn’t do it without you.
As you read this newsletter, you can see how your support helps our friends and
our neighbors. You can see how hundreds of people – people of all ages, interests,
and backgrounds, came together to build a new trail. You will see the happiness
on the faces of local friends Maisy and Keely as they spend time exploring outside
– as Maisy says, “There’s no traffic and no loud car horns.” And, you can see the
hard work of the ranchers as they move their herds to lower pastures – ultimately
providing food for our country.
So, as summer turns to fall, I want to take this opportunity to thank you and all of
our supporters. The Land Trust cannot do it alone, and we thank you for stepping
up to preserve the natural reasons this community is so special.
crested butte land trust
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Fred Holbrook, President
Bill Reimer, Vice-President
Margery Feldberg, Treasurer
Kiley Flint, Secretary
Ann Johnston, Executive Director
Katie Onheiber, Outreach Coordinator
Danielle Beamer, Stewardship Coordinator
Mary Chandler, Administrative Assistant
PO Box 2224
Crested Butte, CO 81224
308 Third St.
Crested Butte, CO 81224
Cover Photographer, Xavier Fane
Donate now to save lands!
We need your help now to protect
important local lands forever. The Crested
Butte Land Trust is a qualified 501(c)(3)
tax-exempt organization and donations are
tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.
You can help ensure that our local hiking
and biking trails, scenic views, and working
ranches are preserved forever.
preserving the present for the future
The High Elk Corridor - a world class treasure
estled between the Raggeds and the
Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness lies a
special basin with lush spruce forests, incredible
cascading waterfalls, and meadows filled with a
dizzying array of summer wildflowers.
Called the High Elk Corridor, this valley
system is surrounded by Colorado’s majestic
Elk Mountains. A summer-only deteriorated
jeep road from Crested Butte passes through
the High Elk, linking the old towns of Gothic,
Schofield, Crystal and Marble.
Here, you will encounter breathtaking views of
Galena and Treasury Mountain, Crystal Peak,
and a handful of Colorado’s famous fourteeners.
Here, you will discover the North Pole Basin.
...I had no idea of how unique the setting was; the cascading stream, the ponds... all of
it packaged in this amazing basin stuffed with wildflowers, watched over by majestic
peaks. We wandered up high and made our way to Crystal Peak just to take it all in.
Keith Bauer, Land Trust supporter
Thanks to your support, a very significant portion of the North Pole Creek, as it cascades through scree fields and spruce
forests from 11,500 feet above sea level, is well on its way to becoming protected.
The Land Trust, in partnership with Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR), and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory
(RMBL), has begun an initiative to conserve the North Pole Basin and provide a hiking trail for public access.
The 158-acre property, owned by CBMR, is rich with biological diversity. Conservation will create an ecological corridor
between the two wildernesses. These corridors are increasingly important for wildlife as Colorado becomes more developed.
Conservation will also provide an opportunity for RMBL scientists to study this distinct piece of land.
“Outside of its obvious beauty, the High Elk Corridor is a sacred spot,” says Keith. “Preserving it has been a priority for
several organizations - the Crested Butte Land Trust, RMBL, and the Trust for Public Land for many years. There are many
smaller in-holdings that have been protected in the area, but to have this many acres available to preserve is really a blessing.”
The Land Trust will continue to work with RMBL and CBMR over the next several months to raise the necessary funds to
acquire the North Pole Basin. If these efforts are successful, the property will be permanently protected by late spring 2013.
We extend our gratitude to CBMR for supporting our efforts to preserve this exceptional property.
Volunteers make trails happen - a community collaboration
takes a village to build a trail. From
concept and design to execution and
completion, it is the hard work of many
brains and brawns.
Trails are a signature amenity of Crested
Butte and are deeply rooted in our
history. This mountain community is
one of the birth places of mountain
biking, when folks were riding monstrous
and modified old Schwinns, or
“klunkers”, over Pearl Pass. Word spread
quickly about this fast growing sport.
Now, thousands of tourists each year
visit the Gunnison Valley for the
opportunity to experience phenomenal
trails. Surrounded by magnificent,
snowcapped peaks, golden aspens and
an abundant display of wildflowers, trails
are truly an economic motivator in our
I think it’s critical for
people to engage in
their natural lands
on some level.
Matt Steinwand, local mountain biker
So, when whispers of a new trail spread
across the valley, we get excited. We
grab our McClouds, shovels and gloves
and we come together. We bring our
kids, our parents… even our pooches.
Unthreatened by rain, sleet and snow, we
unite, sharing a common goal to provide
trails to a community that thrives on
“I think it’s important for people to have
access to trails because a lot of people
live here for the hiking and biking,”
says Meredith McNamara, a dedicated
volunteer for the annual National Trails
Day. Meredith helped build the segment
from the Slate River Trailhead to the
Lupine trail last June.
The singletrack trail is handcycle
compatible. “The (extension at the
Slate River Trailhead) is great, because
everyone is really into accommodating
handcyclists. It’s going to be super fun to
ride,” says Meredith.
For Matt Steinwand, epic singletrack
drew him to the valley. “(Trails) are
important in the urban corridor sense.
You can start from Crested Butte and
ride this trail,” Matt says, referring to the
Slate River Trailhead extension. “I think
it’s important to have trails that people
Katie Onheiber Hedda Peterson
can access from town. That is what
CBMBA is trying to do in partnership
with the Land Trust.”
Trails are evolving. There has been a lot
of change and progress to their design
over the years. “It’s all theoretical,”
says Matt. “You’re just walking around
the woods and trying to see the line.
It’s really a craft and to see it finally
manifested is totally rewarding.”
Shortly after its completion, Matt, along
with many of the 180 volunteers, hopped
on his bike and rode down the 1.3 mile
extension—relishing in the fruits of the
labor of a tight-knit community.
You, too, can make an impact!
Trails, views and ranches need to be
protected – right now. Visit us at www.
cblandtrust.org - click on the “Donate
Now” button. It’s easy, it’s secure, and
we can’t do this without you!
A milestone - we have achieved National Accreditation
“When I served as mayor I gathered information on the amount of
funding brought from outside the valley to preserve our open lands. The
figure was more than $50 million,” says former mayor Leah Williams,
pictured above with fellow celebrator Nancy Wicks. “The Land Trust
has always been the organization the Town of Crested Butte, Trust for
Public Lands and GOCO have worked with to leverage local funding
and support with outside
sources to make BIG projects
The Crested Butte
Land Trust joins
180 of the nation’s
1,723 land trusts
to achieve national
here were smiles all around as the community celebrated the
Land Trust’s recent award at Donita’s Cantina. The wonderful
news: the Land Trust had achieved national accreditation.
Just 10% of land trusts nationwide share in this honor.
Accreditation lets the public know that the Crested Butte
Land Trust has undergone an extensive, external review of the
governance and management of its organization, and how they
protect land. National accreditation is awarded by the Land
Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program
of the Land Trust Alliance (an umbrella group that provides
technical assistance to land trusts).
Operating with nonprofit excellence, and efficiently and
resourcefully working with local landowners to protect their
land, is now more important than ever.
Bill Reimer, vice president
of the board, expressed what the accreditation process means to the Land Trust.
“Accreditation allows us to look to the future with confidence, knowing that we
meet national standards for land trust governance.”
Ann Johnston, Executive Director, and Danielle Beamer, Stewardship Coordinator, were happy to receive the award in person
at the Land Trust Alliance 2012 Rally in Salt Lake City.
our mission: To forever protect and steward open lands for vistas, recreation,
wildlife and ranching, thus contributing to Gunnison County’s unique heritage and
quality of life.
Round ‘em up
anching is part of our heritage. “It’s part of our history,” says Rudy Rozman, who comes from a family that has been
ranching in the Gunnison Valley for more than 100 years. “Back then, there were only two reasons to come here—mining and
ranching. That was the way of life.”
That way of life paints an image of hay fields, lush,
green pastures, cattle grazing at the base of snow dusted
mountains… a romantic picture, far away from the crowded
“It provides several indirect contributions to the community,” says
Curtis. “These include critical wildlife habitat, hunting and fishing
opportunities, open space with undeveloped view sheds, cultural
heritage, water rights that help keep water in our valley for all users,
and stewardship of grazing lands both private and public.”
Ranchers drive their cattle up and down the valley following the
seasons and the forage growth. Starting in the late spring, cattle are
driven to low altitude pastures that grow sufficient grass early in the
grazing season. They are then gradually driven to higher altitudes as
the season progresses. The herds start moving back down the valley
in the fall as winter approaches and are eventually fed harvested hay
when winter sets in.
There’s the rancher, atop a steed, rounding up herds of healthy
cattle from one pasture to another, whether it be by way of
Highway 135 or a high mountian valley. In the Gunnison
Valley, cattle drives are as much of a tradition as they are a
necessary part of ranching.
“Ranching in the Gunnison Valley has been one of the oldest
and most stable drivers of the local economy and contributes
$35-$40 million dollars annually to the valley,” says Curtis
Allen, a fourth generation rancher. His family has been
ranching here since 1886.
There’s no exact science when it comes to moving cattle. It’s
dependent on weather, forage, and outside factors. “Sometimes we move cattle every few days and in other situations, they
may be moved only once every thirty days,” says Curtis.
“A day planner is good for meetings, not moving cattle,” says Rudy,
who has a few cattle drives under his belt. And, it’s a process that
takes experience to learn. “You learn the characteristics of the herd
and how to round them up.”
Rudy and Curtis, like many ranchers, have seen a great deal of
evolution to cattle driving. One of the largest obstacles is increased
traffic on the road, making the use of trucks an attractive option.
The cattle are gathered into a corral and loaded on to the trucks.
They are then hauled to the new location and unloaded.
Hedda Peterson “You would think it’s the cowboy around the campfire, while one
plays the guitar,” says Rudy, with a laugh. “And not the cowboy
at home watching Monday Night Football.” No matter the method used to move cattle, it’s a process that will continue to
evolve—as ranchers in the Gunnison Valley provide healthy, sustainable food for our country.
Maisy & Keely: Living on the wild side
ast spring, Maisy McLoughlin and
Keely Olsen teamed up during Sarah
Block’s fourth grade class for a special
assignment—to create a Haiku that pairs
with a unique photograph representing
each month of the year here in the
While Maisy was born in Massachusetts,
she is a Crested Butte girl at heart. “I
like that it’s a small town,” says Maisy.
“There’s no traffic and no loud car
horns.” Keely agrees, “I like that there’s
no stop lights and there’s lots of trails.”
Keely takes advantage of the many trails,
riding her quarter horse, Cheyenne.
Keely especially enjoys overnight trips.
When the snow starts to fall Keely puts
down the reigns and puts on a pair of
skis. “I can ride (Cheyenne) in about 6
inches of snow but she freaks out when
it gets any higher,” says Keely. In the
winter, you can find Keely skiing down
Resurrection, her favorite run. She’s a big
fan of moguls. “It’s fun to hit little jumps
and ski powder,” declares Keely.
Hike, climb, feel nature
It won’t get more fun than this
Nothing could compare
Maisy McLoughlin & Keely Olsen
When Keely isn’t playing soccer, on her
horse, or skiing, she’s likely to be running
and prefers the Lower Loop for long
distance runs. Her dad, Kurt, built some
hurdles out of PVC pipe allowing Keely
to take her running to new heights.
One of Maisy’s favorite trails is the
Woods Walk, because of all the trees and
forts. Maisy recently achieved a major
feat, hiking to the summit of Teocalli
Mountain. “It’s the highest mountain I’ve
ever been on,” Maisy boasts.
Both girls are big fans of fall. “I really
like November because it’s changing
from fall to winter and ski season starts!”
Keely says, with a smile. “Plus, it’s my
Maisy prefers the earlier months of fall,
declaring September as the best month
Courtesy of the McLoughlins Courtesy of the Olsens
because it’s her birthday month. “I like
September because of all the colorful
leaves and it means we’ll have winter
soon,” Maisy says. She enjoys Alpine and
Nordic skiing, as well as snowboarding.
“I really, really want a snowy winter!”
Something tells us Maisy isn’t alone in
Crafting the Haiku was a true partnership. “We said OK, you
come up with one line, I’ll come up with one line and we’ll put
them together,” says Keely. “We’d read them to each other to see
what the other one thought.” Maisy adds, “It was really fun to
have a partner for the Haiku, someone to talk to and think about
things to come up with.”
Pick up the Crested Butte Land Trust’s 2013 calendar to see all of
the Haikus written by the students of Sarah Block’s fourth grade
class as well as stunning photographs taken by local professional
and amatuer photographers.
Purchase your calendar on our website,
CRESTED BUTTE LAND TRUST
PO Box 2224
Crested Butte, CO
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CRESTED BUTTE, CO
Think you know the Gunnison Valley? Explored its rivers, lakes, mountains and meadows? Starting November 19th, check the
Land Trust’s Facebook page every Monday; we’ll post a photo of a favorite spot conserved by the Land Trust. “Like” the photo
and share a memorable moment on that property. Have you had an incredible post-work bike ride on the Lower Loop? Seen a bear
wandering around Schofield? Let us know! We’ll select a winner at random to receive great swag from the Land Trust, Colorado
FreeSkier, CBMBA and other local businesses and organizations! The giveaway lasts six weeks, so get outside and get rewarded!
VISIT US ONLINE FOR PROJECT UPDATES, EVENTS, VOLUNTEERING, OR TO MAKE A DONATION