Crested Butte Land Trust

Crested Butte Land Trust

crested butte


saving the land you call home


president’s letter

Fred Holbrook

President, Board of Directors

s the

days get shorter

and frostier in

the mornings,

I find myself

thinking about

how extraordinary

our community

is, tucked away

on Colorado’s

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.


J.C. Leacock


crested butte land trust


Fred Holbrook, President

Bill Reimer, Vice-President

Margery Feldberg, Treasurer

Kiley Flint, Secretary

Skip Berkshire

Karen Janssen

Peter Kennel

Gabe Martin

John Simmons


Ann Johnston, Executive Director

Katie Onheiber, Outreach Coordinator

Danielle Beamer, Stewardship Coordinator

Mary Chandler, Administrative Assistant


Mailing Address:

PO Box 2224

Crested Butte, CO 81224

Physical Address:

308 Third St.

Crested Butte, CO 81224

P: 970.349.1206

F: 970.349.1210

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

Dawn Reeder

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.

Dawn Reeder


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

tourism-based economy.

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

Katie Onheiber

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. - click on the “Donate

Now” button. It’s easy, it’s secure, and

we can’t do this without you!

Katie Onheiber


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


Megan Dennison

Katie Onheiber

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.

Rebecca Ofstedahl


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

feed lots.

Rudy Rozman

“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.

Hedda Peterson

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

Gunnison Valley.

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

birthday month.”

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

that request.

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,


PO Box 2224

Crested Butte, CO


Facebook Giveaway





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!

Kurt Reise

Sam Faivre

Kurt Reise

Xavier Fane



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