The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) decision will create better access to Blue River and Green Mountain while providing Summit County $600,000 for additional open space acquisitions.
SUMMIT COUNTY—Summit County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) announced their support of the Blue Valley Land Exchange by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which was approved today upon the BLM’s Notice of Decision.
As part of the exchange, Summit County will receive $600,000 for use in new open space acquisitions, further protecting the County’s natural lands.
“This is a landmark decision for the County that will greatly improve recreation access to Blue River and Green Mountain while helping us continue our work conserving beautiful and beloved open spaces for future generations,” said Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence. “On behalf of the Summit County Board of County Commissioners, we applaud the Bureau of Land Management for securing this economic and environmental victory for our residents, at no cost to the taxpayer.”
The many public benefits available as a direct result of the land exchange include:
- The public will have walk-in access to previously inaccessible 1.65 contiguous miles of the Blue River in Green Mountain Canyon and hundreds more acres of public land on the north side of Summit County.
- Two new recreation areas will be created: the Confluence Recreation Area at the confluence of the Colorado and Blue rivers and the Green Mountain Recreation Area, with improved trails, parking, wheelchair accessible fishing platforms, picnic tables and more.
- Lower Blue River floaters will enjoy new opportunities to rest on the river, including a permanent and improved seasonal takeout and rest stop at the Spring Creek River Bridge. There will also be a new rest stop three miles downstream from the Spring Creek Bridge; and a new takeout near the confluence of the Blue and Colorado rivers. Making the Spring Creek Bridge takeout permanent guarantees its ongoing availability for kayakers floating Green Mountain Canyon.
- The Green Mountain Trailhead will be established, providing public access to the north side of Green Mountain, and both Green Mountain and San Toy Mountain will be permanently protected from future development.
Blue Valley Ranch will establish an endowment for the development and long-term maintenance of the new recreation features, including an initial investment of more than $2 million to establish the two new recreation areas and a river restoration project on three quarters of a mile of the Blue River.
Media Contact: David Rossi, Summit County Government