Comprehensive planning commences this fall for Open Space and Natural Resources

Comprehensive planning commences this fall for Open Space and Natural Resources

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Peter Suneson

Open Space Manager


September 5, 2023 - An Eagle County Open Space comprehensive planning process will begin this fall, thanks to the approval from the Board of County Commissioners and the signing of a contract with ERO Resources Corporation authorizing the Open Space and Natural Resources Department to develop the first-ever Eagle County Open Space Plan since program establishment in 2002.

Since 2002, the Eagle County Open Space program has conserved more than 15,000 acres of land in Eagle County through fee-title acquisitions, conservation easements, and the funding of conservation easement transaction costs.

During the request for proposal (RFP) process in early 2023, Open Space received four competitive proposals. After review, the staff selected ERO as the most advantageous to accomplish the goals.

The final plan will summarize the existing Eagle County Open Space program, consider current and future challenges, define a vision for the next ten years + of land acquisition, protection and management, and outline a suite of tools and decision-making strategies for Eagle County for the creation of a desired vision of the future for protection and management of open space in Eagle County. Additionally, the core of the plan will act as the foundation for the Eagle County Open Space and Natural Resource Department’s future strategy and policy for the acquisition, restoration, long-term stewardship, and capital project prioritization.

“By implementing an Open Space plan, we can ensure that our collective community values, vision, and priorities guide land conservation in Eagle County,” said Director of Open Space and Natural Resources Marcia Gilles. “We look forward to learning from the public about their priorities to acquire, conserve, and manage open space lands in the County.

Public involvement is critical to this process, and there will be a number of opportunities to help determine that vision. 

The planning will begin at the end of August and include robust opportunities for public engagement beginning this fall and throughout the planning process. Delivery of the final plan is anticipated by the end of 2024. Learn more and how to participate in the process on the Eagle County Open Space’s webpage

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