December 9, 2021 - Alma, Colo. The Town of Alma, the Alma Foundation, and Colorado Open Lands today announce the permanent conservation of the Buckskin Gulch parcel. This property located about one mile west of Alma includes a full mile of creek frontage and 10 acres of wetlands, and surrounds of Alma’s water diversion and infiltration galleries for the Town’s water supply. The property was under private ownership and was listed for sale in 2020. The community recognized the need to acquire the land to protect against development in proximity to this critical water resource. It was able to do so with grants from the Park County Land and Water Trust Fund, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), and the Alma Foundation.
"By acquiring the 74-acre Buckskin Placer property we can better protect our town drinking water supply," said Saam Golgoon, Mayor of Alma.
The Buckskin Gulch parcel is also important to the community for the public access it provides. The property was site of Buckskin Joe, the area’s original mining town, pre-dating the Town of Alma. Existing trails traverse the property between Alma and the Pike National Forest. The parcel also provides access to the historic Buckskin Cemetery which is regularly visited by residents and guests. Ownership by the Town will now allow for legal public access, active property management, and sustainable recreational use. The Town will solicit public input as they develop a management plan for the property in the coming year and will seek to coordinate management with Pike National Forest on adjacent lands.
"The Buckskin Placer Property surrounds our drinking water intake, provides access to the historic Buckskin Cemetery and is a critical piece of property for open space, recreation, and wildlife habitat," said Jara Johnson, Alma Foundation Volunteer.
The Buckskin Gulch parcel is now permanently protected under conservation easement with Colorado Open Lands. The easement prevents subdivision and development, ensuring that the water stays available for the Town’s supply and that future recreational amenities such as campsites are carefully managed and restricted to certain areas.
The Town was also able to purchase an additional acre of land to add to the Alma Town Park. After a large reclamation project was completed in 2019, the private owners expressed interest in selling that property as well. This site has been host to the three-day Festival in the Clouds, a community art and music festival and the Alma Foundation’s largest annual fundraiser. The Town may convert a portion of this acre to a permanent skate park with equipment donated by the Town of Frisco.
"By acquiring these two properties we added to our Riverwalk Property and Town Park, and our watershed ownership. Seventy-four acres near the cemetery and our water gallery will help us as a Town to protect our water supply and the open space near the historic Buckskin Cemetery. The property adjacent the Town Park adds a new space for an upgraded skatepark and to-be-determined other uses," said Cory Kritzmire, owner of Almart.
About the Alma Foundation
The Alma Foundation is a non profit 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1995 to improve the quality of life for residents in the greater Alma community. Its work focuses on recreation, historic preservation, arts and cultural development, and assisting local residents in need. For the past 25 years, the allvolunteer organization has worked with the Town of Alma to preserve important buildings in the community and develop new parks and recreational opportunities.
About Colorado Open Lands
Colorado Open Lands is a private, nonprofit land trust that works to enhance Colorado’s quality of life by protecting its most treasured asset: open lands. Since 1981, COL has helped landowners conserve more than 590,000 acres around the state and fostered partnerships responsible for critical innovations in conservation funding, easement defense and more. In 2015, COL adopted an ambitious strategic plan to help interested landowners protect an additional 300,000 acres across Colorado by 2025. www.coloradoopenlands.org
About the Park County Land and Water Trust Fund
In 1997, Park County voters approved a 1% sales tax to create the Park County Land and Water Trust Fund. Approved uses of the funds were “to preserve, protect, acquire, improve, and maintain Park County’s remaining water resources and lands associated with water rights and water resources.” In 2006, the sales tax was renewed for another 10 years, and in 2018 was again renewed with expanded activities and uses including the preservation and maintenance water rights and water systems, open space, wildlife resources, and outdoor recreation resources. The Land and Water Trust Fund has facilitated dozens of beneficial projects across Park County