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Latest Meeting Minutes

Nov 14, 2023

Reminder The Next Scheduled LCOSI Meeting will be held on Thursday, January 11, 2024

9:00 AM, Room 215, New Discovery Building, CMC Timberline Campus

LCOSI Meeting

Nov.14, 2023



Participants signed in:


Jason Willis, TU

Megan Graham, Climax

Jeff Hammond, CPW

Alan Robinson, GARNA, S&RT

Harmony Jump, CCC/LCCD

Mayda Silver, CMC

John Smeins, BLM

Pat Mercer, USFS

Jeff Fiedler, Lake County BOCC

Adam Ducharme, Lake County Recreation

Mark Miller, Citizen

Domonique Nacaratto, Western State

Jason Marsden, Director GARNA

Jacob Bauer, Aurora Water

Sarah Mudge, Lake County BOCC

Adam Beh, PROS

Matt Nykiel, National Forest Foundation


·          Not all participants signed in


Facilitator: Michael Conlin


Previous Minutes:


Previous meeting minutes were accepted as written. Participants were introduced.




Jason Willis provided an update on the fiscal position of the LCOSI general fund. The current balance in the LCCF fiscal sponsor account is $12,027.00 as of 10/31/2023. Funding was received from Aurora Water, Pueblo Board of Water Works, AHRA, and the 1% for the outdoors program.


Youth Outreach


The fall LCHS field trip to Hayden Meadows was held on October 3, 2023. The LCOSI sponsored event was a follow up to monitor the test plots planted by students in the spring of 2023, implement fall seeding of native plants in the remaining test plot, and identifying existing native pollinator plants in conjunction with the Audubon Habitat Hero Program.


Ms. Nicci Condon’s environmental sciences class also reviewed contaminated and remediated mine waste sites contrasting historic damage from mining and the efforts to heal soils and improve water quality.


Eric Detmer, Climax Environmental Department, led the discussion on past mining impacts and the current day mining practices that guard against degradation of land and water resources.


Meagan Graham, Climax Environmental Department, filled in for Eric to provide an overview of objectives and Eric’s observations.


Site Remediation


Jason Willis, TU, provided an update on the test plots at the Hayden Reservoir irrigated meadow and SA-5 fluvial tailings remediation sites. He indicated that he was not satisfied with the results of vegetative recovery from the test plots established in the fall of 2022, which were followed by a period of 50 mph winds that appear to have scoured the native seed beds. The test plots will be re-planted to provide more conclusive comparison of soil amendments best suited to the specific site remediation efforts.


Data Transfer


Mike Conlin reported on the formats reviewed for archiving and retrieval of 27 years of LCOSI records.


Based on IT recommendations, hard copy data not accessible in digital format (stored on floppy or optical media and no longer retrievable) will be scanned into Network Attached Storage along with digitally stored files to allow file access by signatories to the LCOSI Cooperator Stakeholders


Partnership Agreement. Partners will be issued passwords to allow access to the network.


It is currently estimated that storage capacity to archive the data will be in the range of 16 to 20 terabytes.


PROS has indicated a willingness to explore the purchase of the hardware to accommodate the archival process, and potentially provide some staff time to aid in the data transfer.


Mike Conlin indicted that the current budget for 2024 is insufficient to start new capital projects, facilitate meetings, and transfer 27 years of data to a digital archive. His time between now and his scheduled retirement in July of 2024 will be focused the data transfer and general facilitation duties.


Planning for Wildlife


Mike Conlin, LCOSI coordinator, and Harmony Jump, CCC liaison to the Lake County Conservation District, attended the Planning for Wildlife meeting in Buena Vista to explore avenues of public distribution and potential uses for the Wildlife Habitat Map developed through the planning process.


The Map Series was developed to identify habitat values, areas of human disturbance, and areas of remaining high-quality habitat that should be preserved in order to lessen the impacts of future habitat loss and disturbance on species of significance to the character and environmental health of the Upper Arkansas River Valley in Lake County.


Meeting memories from the gathering included:


- Lake County stakeholders met to develop a "wildlife strategy" to deploy the planning for wildlife map and to sustain local wildlife populations.

- The group of about 10 met for 3 hrs. and developed a draft "wildlife strategy" with action ideas rated by feasibility/difficulty and impact.

- The group prioritized three areas and worked on ideas of next step actions on those ideas

1) Land Conservation/ Acquisition,

2) Enforcing Seasonal Closures, and

3) Supporting recreation management).

- A standing body of "Wildlife Professionals" from the region who meet regularly to help advance the Chaffee County Wildlife Strategy met last week to review the plan  and they added a few more priorities related to wetland habitat enhancement and tapping wildfire treatments for maximum benefit to wildlife.

- As a next step this plan will be shared with the Lake County Team working on Rec Management (led by Adam Ducharme) for future action planning and implementation


It was suggested that if greater participation from Lake County was desired, future technical team and public outreach meetings should be held in Lake County. It was reported that the map is already being used by the County in recreational and development planning.


Hayden Reservoir:



Mike Conlin shared a document prepared to chronicle and archive the LCOSI site selection criteria, master planning, environmental studies, permitting, funding, engineering, water rights procurement, inter-agency agreements, partner contributions, construction elements, and the sequence of building the Hayden Meadows Reservoir and its subsequent transfer into Lake County ownership as a community water storage vessel and recreational amenity.


With the advent of PROS and their assumption of maintenance and operations of the Hayden Reservoir, Mike has been meeting with Adam Beh to transfer personal knowledge gained as project manager for the project as it pertains to past and future operations and maintenance.


A cursory examination of the finished reservoir today hides many of the details crucial to understanding its operations and maintenance and its compliance with state and federal regulations, (e.g. under-drain system, GCL liner, outlet works etc.) which are buried under the soil or submerged beneath its waters.


The purpose of the Handbook is to identify project components, document compliance with engineering and environmental permitting requirements, preserve its history, and to synopsize the various puzzle pieces under one document for the benefit of future management.


Preparation of the document is part of the preservation and transfer of data to the LCOSI archive and captures the institutional knowledge and personal experience of the project manager for the benefit of future generations of planners and resource managers. Copies of the document and appendices are available to LCOSI partners upon request.


PROS Update


Adam Beh provided an overview of actions and activities of the Lake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Department. Much of the current effort revolves around staffing up the department, including the posting of the position of Deputy Director of Open Space which will open on December 4, 2023.


PROS has assimilated the Get Outdoors Leadville Program and is working with Adam Ducharme on the Friends of Lake County project to build community volunteer capacity. They are also developing a corps of trail stewards and working on trail connectivity north of Leadville, and working with CCC and the Lake County Conservation District to incentivize conservation of private lands and incorporate the principles. “Leave No Trace”


Adam indicated that three firms have been short listed to take on the task of Master Planning the Arkansas River Community (ARC) Preserve along the main stem of the Arkansas River between the Hayden Ranch and the Lake/Chaffee County line. The consultant selection process will close on November 22nd.


It was recommended that the selected consulting firm be invited to present and solicit LCOSI stakeholder input at the January 11, 2023, LCOSI meeting. The Public Engagement Process for the project will close on June 24th.


LCOSI was awarded $1.8mm in NRDA funding in 2010 that targeted gathering public input, identification, and prioritization of conservation acquisitions to protect habitat and compensate for the loss of or damage to environmental resources resulting from historic mining impacts within the California Gulch Superfund Site.


The parcels within the ARC Preserve were identified and prioritized for acquisition, exchange, or conservation easement as part of that process, and LCOSI has provided support for the Central Colorado Conservancy’s efforts to secure the properties.

GARNA Report


Alan Robinson provided an update on GARNA activities and the ongoing work of the Friends of Four Mile, including the efforts to re-introduce beavers and use beaver dam analogs as a tool for restoring wetland health, improving water quality, and establishing wildfire resistant corridors.


Alan also indicated that GARNA has submitted a GOCO Grant for interpretive and public education messaging along the Stage and Rail Route. Per authorization at the September meeting, LCOSI provided a letter of support for the grant.


It is noted that the Stage and Rail Route is subject to the current issue of private landowner liability for public use of trails traversing their property. The issue has resulted in the closure of trails to the summits of several 14ers and the requirement for liability waivers for participants, organizers and the public attending the Leadville Trail 100 race series.


Transition Team


In preparation for Mike Conlin’s retirement as coordinator of LCOSI in July of 2024, a Transition Team (TT) was formed and has been working on the job description and protocol for soliciting potential independent contractors to respond to a Request for Proposal to fill the position.


Jason Willis, TU, has been working with the TT on a draft of the RFP, which was forwarded to the LCOSI Participant List for review and comment prior to the November meeting.


As proposed, the RFP solicitation schedule would be:


RFP Released – 4/1/2024

RFP Due – 5/1/2024

Award Contract - 5/15/2024

Begin Position – 6/15/2024


Patric Mercer, USFS, asked if that provided sufficient time to re-submit the RFP prior to Mike’s retirement if a suitable candidate was not identified in the first-round solicitation.


Mike Conlin indicated that his retirement date is not set in stone, but was announced to stop the moving target of when it would occur and start the ball rolling on the transition process. If additional time is required to find a suitable replacement, he will remain in the position until a replacement is found.


Jason Willis then distributed copies of a short survey intended to identify characteristics and skills the group would like to see in the next coordinator. The participants broke into four groups to respond to the questions.


The Questions:


1) What traits or characteristics would you like to see in a coordinator?


2) What skills are important in filling the coordinator role?

3) What previous experience would be helpful?


4) Where should the coordinator’s efforts be focused?


Takeaways from the breakout groups included, but were not limited to:


·         What is the management structure of the potential contractor? – LCCF acts as fiscal sponsor, but does not function as a management organization – what management experience do they bring to the table

·         Should there be a steering committee to whom the contractor responds and reports?

·         The contractor should exhibit entrepreneurial skills – act as a catalyst for bringing groups together for collaborative planning

·         Many new groups have been formed since LCOSI started in 1997, with many overlapping agendas. LCOSI should initiate a “Gap Needs Assessment” to improve inter-group communications, reduce overlap and redundancy, and focus the use of its limited financial resources

·         Coordinator should be a self starter – self sufficient and skilled in public facilitation

·         Coordinator should live in Lake County or in Central Colorado

·         Coordinator should prioritize projects that have strong stakeholder interest and provide the ultimate benefit to the landscape.

·         Coordinator should be flexible to change and evolution of the group and its needs

·         Coordinator should promote public education and identify effective outreach opportunities

·         Coordinator should campaign to increase participation in the 1% for the Outdoors Program and equitable distribution of funds

·         Coordinator should be a solution oriented, logical thinker, with a bias toward consensus decision making

·         Coordinator should have an investment in and a willingness to know the community

·         Coordinator should have proven grant writing skills

·         Coordinator should have the capability to work remotely or incorporate a flexible work environment – LCOSI does not maintain office space

·         Coordinator should have “Bureaucratic Familiarity”

·         Ther is a need to identify the base level budget for the part time position that can be enhanced by contractors grant writing skills or other means of increasing the budget for specific projects above and beyond general facilitation


Based on input gathered at the meeting, Jason has revised the coordinator’s position description (Attached) for your review and comment. The final version will be discussed at the January 11, 2024, meeting.


As a reminder, the January LCOSI meeting will be held in Room 215 of the New Discovery Building on the Timberline Campus of Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, starting at 9:00 AM on Thursday January 11th, 2024. The meeting will be held in a hybrid format allowing for remote participation – the link to which will be forwarded with the final meeting reminder.


Agenda items will include a presentation and input solicitation from the contractor selected to prepare the Master Plan for the ARC Preserve, an update on water issues as they relate to the Hayden Meadows Reservoir, delivery system and Lake County’s water augmentation plan, and updates of ongoing projects.


We will also review the final draft of the coordinator position RFP (Attached) and request consensus to proceed as directed in the project timeline.

If you have any additional items you would like to see discussed, please forward them at your earliest so that they can be added to the agenda.


Also, a thanks to individuals who donated almost $4,000.00 to LCOSI through Colorado Gives day, including but not limited to:


Alan Robinson

Jay Gingrich

Lance Baller

Rebecca Thomas

Diana Kelts

Kelly Sweeney,

Conlin Family Trust

And those who gave anonymously



Hoping that you can join us to kick of a new year with an appreciation for the past and focus on the future.


Happy New Year, may it bring you peace and prosperity.





Mike Conlin, Coordinator

Lake County Open Space Initiative






 LCOSI Meeting Reminder

 2024 Meeting Dates (Tentative):

January 11th

March 14th

May 9th

July 11th

September 12th

November 14th

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