Pitkn County and partners created a lasting legacy of conserved open space last month when they consumated the purchase of the last of three contiguous ranchland parcels.

The three properties — which combine for nearly 400 acres — are the core of a broader effort to preserve working ranches in the Emma area. The deal sterilizes three developable lots (349 acres in total) in Eagle County where homes as big as 8,250 square feet could have been constructed. A fourth home site in Pitkin County also was extinguished.

The result is a greenbelt in the mid Roaring Fork Valley surrounding Basalt, Emma and El Jebel totaling almost 1,500 acres. It is an almost incredible feat of vision, long-term strategic planning and successful execution.

Other open space purchases to the east (up valley towards Basalt) include:

  • Emma Open Space (65 acres)
  • Grange family conservation easement (252 acres)
  • Emma townsite (12.5 acres)
  • Crown Mountain Ranch, formerly Fender Ranch, conservation easement (559 acres)
  • Parker Family conservation easement at Happy Day Ranch (25.5 acres).
  • Tom Clark Family conservation easement on 120 acres by working with the Aspen Valley Land Trust.

Acreage: 400 (the 3 contiguous ranches) + 1,059 (listed above) = 1,459 conserved open space acres mid-valley.

LInk to article, Aug 10, 2015 AT

Click image to enlarge. (Source: Aspen Valley Land Trust, Pitkin County Open Space and Pitkin County GIS/Mapping)