Trampe Land Conservation Easement – “No Recreational Access” First let me say that I believe the Conservation Easement is a great opportunity to protect historic ranch land in the Gunnison Valley forever. There are approximately 6,000 acres that have been in the Trampe family for over 100 years as a working ranch and with the conservation easement put in place this land will be protected from development forever. Unfortunately however the Conservation Easement stipulates no Public Recreational Access.
I attended the Crested Butte Town Council meeting on August 18 where The Trust for Public Land (TPL) presented a request for the Town of Crested Butte to donate to the Trampe Ranch Conservation Easement. TPL is a fundraising group for the conservation easement asked the Crested Butte Town Council for $1,000,000 in funds to help raise the goal of nearly $24,000,000. The Town of Crested Butte would use the Transfer Tax fund from their budget to pay for the $1,000,000 donation. The members of the town council appeared to be in favor of the donation, and stated they will write-up an official pledge for a vote at a future meeting.
TPL stated they will attempt to raise 60% of the funds from Private Donations and 40% from Public Donations.
One of the stipulations in the Conservation Easement is that Mr. Trampe requires that there be NO RECREATIONAL ACCESS on the property. So for the sum of tens of millions of dollars the public The folks from TPL stated that this provision could be changed in the future and that the agreement is open to change.
Seems weird to me that the council is not willing to push back and at least “try” to get some entitlements in return for the $1,000,000 of the public’s money. There was a shit storm over receiving $500,000 for the Budlight Whatever event, but it appears the donation of $1,000,000 is no big deal… guess I am out of the loop.
I am respectful of private property rights and believe Mr. Trampe has the right to do whatever he wants with his ranch – UNTIL he or his estate accepts PUBLIC MONEY. And if the public is going to pony up 60% of $24,000,000 then I think it is fair that there should be managed public recreational access including:
- Trails for Hiking and Mountain Biking
- Managed Fishing Access
I urge the public officials to represent the public and stipulate that any public monies (including GOCO Funds) that are used for a Conservation Easement require that there will be managed public access in the Conservation Easement up front.
– I am not an attorney but have consulted with those familiar with Conservation Easements and once they are signed – they are set in stone and there is never the interest, nor dollars available from all the parties necessary to change the terms.
– It is a bit ironic – that if not for the development in and around Crested Butte (a recreational tourism economy) there would be no Public and Private interest or motivation to help fund the $24,000,000.
Specific to the East River Valley floor behind Mt. Crested Butte:
– There are approximately 4 miles of the East River that could be opened up for seasonal “managed public access” for fly fishing.
– A trail could be put in around the back of the mountain connecting Lower Meander to Brush Creek Road, or the same route the Grand Traverse now takes.
We have so little easily accessible public fly fishing water available to the public for walk and wade, and a huge opportunity here to open up this land to managed public access (similar to the Palisades access to the Gunnison River in Gunnison, or the Snodgrass Trail access over the Allen Family Property).
God created this beautiful land, and Mr. Trampe and the folks funding this conservation easement should work to provide a gift to the public forever allowing recreational access. That would be a fantastic legacy!
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