In the past months, members of your BCNA Board of Directors have been closely monitoring the ongoing City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) North Trail Study Area (NTSA) and your input at this juncture is urgently needed.
Why? Beginning January 3, 2016, decisions will be made that will determine whether a multipurpose trail will be built across the last foothills riparian drainages that remain free of recreational impacts in the OSMP system! If built, this trail will cross land that is jointly owned by OSMP and Boulder County Parks and Open Space (BCPOS) that is designated as a Habitat Conservation Area (HCA), a high biodiversity area with rare plant communities and critical wildlife habitat. The Boulder County Comprehensive Plan (BCCP) describes this area as "especially unique and important to the natural history of the county"! Rather than impacting these "especially unique" and valuable lands to the west of the North Foothills Highway/U.S. HWY36, a trail of comparable length can be built east of HWY 36 with much less impact.
Please state that you support Scenario A with a trail that connects the Foothills Trail to the Joder Trail on the east side of the North Foothills Highway/U.S. HWY 36 and preserves the valuable, diverse and unfragmented habitat on the west side of the highway.
Reasons you may include (choose one or two that are important to you):
Both the BCCP and Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan (BVCP) show trail connections on the east side of HWY 36 and HCAs on the west side!
The area west of the highway contains the last foothills riparian drainages that are not negatively impacted by recreational use! This may be our last chance to protect them for wildlife and future generations.
One of the purposes of open space, as stated in the City of Boulder Charter is "preservation of natural areas characterized by or including terrain, geologic formations, flora or fauna that are unusual, spectacular, historically important, scientifically valuable or unique, or that represent outstanding or rare examples of native species".
Our communities' values and land use commitments are spelled out in the charter and comp plans and should be honored.
Providing a connector trail on the east and habitat conservation on the west will balance recreation and conservation of nature.
Agree with staff's recommendation to maintain the Joder property's designation as a Habitat Conservation Area (HCA) and, because of the extremely valuable plant communities and wildlife resources, ask staff to make sure any trails proposed for the Joder property are, after thorough review, carefully placed to preserve resources without impact.
The Joder property is crossed by the drainages of five (5) springs.
These drainages contain high quality shrub-nesting bird habitat that supports species like Lazuli Bunting (a Boulder County Avian Species of Special Concern/BCNA/Hallock and Jones/2010) and a wide variety of other wildlife.
The Joder property contains rare plants and plant communities (e.g., large areas of big-bluestem).
Habitat that supports several herds of deer and migrating elk.
Exposed rock and cliffs that support Rock Wrens (an avian species of special concern) and has been occupied by resident/nesting Golden Eagles for over 130 years.
Rare and imperiled butterfies.
IMPORTANT! All e-mails must be received no later than January 3, 2016!
We know how busy you are during the Holiday Season, but please take a few minutes of your time to speak up to "conserve and promote resilient natural ecosystems in our area"! Please share this message with family, friends, neighbors and associates and we thank you for actively supporting BCNA and its "mission"!