Closure for South Hogback Open Space Will Protect Sensitive Resources
In June of 2020, the Metropolitan District Board approved a temporary closure of the eastern side of the South Hogback Open Space (SHOS). The closure, which is necessary to protect rare and sensitive plant and animal species and cultural sites, will extend west to east from Cathy Johnson Trail to highway C-470 and north to south from Massey Draw to Deer Creek Canyon (see map). The landowner, the Ken-Caryl Ranch Metropolitan District Board of Directors, approved the temporary closure until a management plan for the area is approved. Cathy Johnson Trail, Columbine Trail and the Pass Trail connection to South Valley Park will remain open. The signage for this new closure will be in place in the coming weeks. Existing area closures along the western edge of this parcel will remain in place at this time.
The Board began the process of developing a management plan in 2019 when they hired private ecological consultants to complete biological and cultural surveys of the SHOS and to provide recommendations for protecting resources highlighted in the survey reports. Not surprisingly, the survey work revealed several significant findings that add further evidence to the ecological and cultural importance of the area recognized for years by organizations such as Colorado Natural Areas Program and Colorado Archaeological Society.
At the request of the Board, The Ken-Caryl Ranch Open Space Committee will continue work on the plan that will include robust community participation and is also faithful to the overall goal at Ken-Caryl Ranch Open Space of balancing resource protection and access. This work is likely to occur over the next several months. Interested individuals should monitor Board and OSC meeting agendas and attend meetings to provide input and monitor progress.