A Letter from the MD Board: Metro District Continues South Hogback Planning
Joe Levy, left, and Jack Sawatzki
By Joseph Levy and Jack Sawatzki, Ken-Caryl Metro District Board Members
The Ken-Caryl Metropolitan District Board is continuing the process of collecting information from the community leading to the development of a formal resource management plan for a special area in the Ken-Caryl Ranch known as the “South Hogback Open Space.”
While much of the open space in Ken-Caryl Ranch is owned and managed by the Ken-Caryl Master Association as private property, the South Hogback – 895 acres of open space located south and west of the junction of Interstate C-470 and Ken Caryl Avenue – is owned by the Metropolitan District. The Ken-Caryl Foundation deeded the property to the Metro District in 2003 due to the District’s public entity status and ability to conserve and manage the property in the long-term.
The South Hogback is one of only three areas in Jefferson County designated as a natural area by the Colorado Natural Areas Program based on unique geological, archaeological and biological features. In 2019, the Board commissioned two studies of the cultural and biological resources present at the South Hogback in order to assist the Board in managing this unique property and ultimately developing a resource management plan.
The Board intended to determine next steps for the South Hogback Open Space at its regular meeting in March. However, the COVID pandemic prevented anything but critical operational discussions to occur, so the South Hogback discussion was delayed until June, when the Metro District Board voted to formally close access to the eastern side of the South Hogback (all areas east of the Cathy Johnson Trail to C-470) to protect sensitive open space resources until an official plan can be developed. Signage for that closure will be in place in September.
The District has been entrusted with stewardship of this special area and takes that responsibility seriously. Over the summer, the board reached out to the Ken-Caryl Master Association Open Space Committee, asking for the committee to provide assistance this fall in answering more questions about the best ways to protect this sensitive area. In the coming months, we’ll look for the best ways to gather input from all stakeholders in our community prior to the formulation of a formal plan.
As two of your five Metro District Board members, we encourage you to reach out to staff or any of your board members personally to share your thoughts or concerns. We’ll be reaching out to you in the coming months with more opportunities for input.