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Advisory committee recommends purchase of Hardscrabble Ranch

Contact: Toby Sprunk, Open Space Director, 970-328-8698,

Map of Hardscrabble Ranch

April 11, 2017 – Eagle County’s Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC) is forwarding a recommendation of approval to the Board of County Commissioners for the purchase of Hardscrabble Ranch. The 1,540-acre property is located along Brush Creek Road just south of the Town of Eagle. 

During their review on April 10, the committee unanimously scored the project “High” on all six criteria used to evaluate properties for open space acquisitions: scenic landscapes and vistas; regional heritage, agriculture and ranching; wildlife, wildlife habitat and migration routes; sensitive lands and environments; physical and visual buffers; and access to streams, rivers, public lands and dispersed recreation opportunities. OSAC members noted the unique opportunity to accomplish multiple benefits on a large scale with one purchase.

Representatives from the Town of Eagle, Eagle Ranch, Eagle Valley Land Trust, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, the Eagle County Historical Society and The Conservation Fund were in attendance at Monday’s meeting to voice support.

“From protecting critical winter range for wildlife, to providing trail connections to BLM lands, to preservation of existing ranch operations, Hardscrabble Ranch is a gem,” said Craig Wescoatt, district wildlife manager with Colorado Parks & Wildlife.

The project is also in alignment with future land use maps contained within the Town of Eagle Community Plan. “This is a grand slam project,” said Town of Eagle Mayor Anne McKibbin. “We are definitely in favor of this.”

Cost of the project is $15.5 million. OSAC’s recommendation is contingent upon successful negotiations for water rights, as well as a grant award from Great Outdoors Colorado for $3.1 million. As proposed, up to $10.325 million would come from the dedicated Open Space Fund, which can only be used for the purchase, acquisition or protection of open space. Additional contributions are anticipated from partners including the Town of Eagle and the Eagle Ranch Wildlife Committee. Other funding sources are still being pursued. 

To view the OSAC meeting in its entirety, visit For more information on the Hardscrabble Ranch project, contact Open Space Director Toby Sprunk at 970-328-8698 or at