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BoCC deeds property for watershed restoration project

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners has deeded an Aspen Springs resident 24.16 acres for the purpose of restoration of the portion of the Stollsteimer Creek Watershed located on the property.

The approval of the deed took place at the Feb. 19 meeting of the board.

The deeding of the property to Aspen Springs resident Pat Ullrich adheres to a 2007 BoCC decision allowing Ullrich to restore the watershed through the government’s Wildlife Enhancement Program.

Ullrich has previously restored other portions of the watershed.

The granting of the deed, however, is conditional, according to agenda documentation from the Feb. 19 meeting.

Should Ullrich fail to complete the restoration in accordance with the program or fail to complete the restoration within 10 years, the deed will become void and the property will revert to ownership by the county.

The property is to be used exclusively in conjunction with the watershed restoration.

Within 20 days of completion of the restoration, Ullrich is to execute and record a grant of easement to Archuleta County for the use and benefit of the general public, allowing non-motorized access to and across the property to Stollsteimer Creek.

Discussion from the board was minimal, with commissioner Michael Whiting stating that the property could not be sold, and that he was satisfied with the county’s right to take the property back if the restoration work were not being completed.

In addition to the deed, the BoCC tended to other environmental-related business during the Feb. 19 meeting.

As part of the consent agenda at the meeting, the board approved letters to the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management .

The letter to the USFS regards EAGLE-Net Alliance (ENA) and its ongoing project to connect a number of public institutions throughout the state via a broadband network, including Archuleta School District 50 Jt. locally, though a $100.6 million Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grant office.

The letter is in support of ENA installing fiber optic cable on National Forest lands.

“The EAGLE-Net project is an important project for the citizens of Archuleta County and one which the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners strongly supports,” the letter states. “Not only will the project result in increased service for our citizens, it will promote economic development, increase educational opportunities and generally raise the health, safety and welfare of Archuleta County and southwest Colorado.”

Also on an environmental note, the board approved a letter of thanks to Connie Clementson, field manager of the BLM’s Tres Rios Field Office.

The letter thanked Clementson for the decision to suspend the oil and gas lease sales scheduled for Feb. 14, which included parcels in Archuleta County.

“We believe this was an important step taken by you on behalf of your agency towards restoring the relationship between your agency and Archuleta County,” the letter states.

Additionally, the letter states, “We continue to believe for all of the reasons stated in our prior correspondence that there are significant impacts that have not adequately been addressed. Your decision will allow the BLM the opportunity to confirm that these leases are being analyzed according to a finalized resource-management plan.”

The next regular meeting of the BoCC is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on March 5.

randi@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on February 28, 2013.