Kremmling town board eyes ‘Idiot’s Hill’
June 8, 2010
KREMMLING – Town officials are considering buying a triangle of land near what is informally known as Idiot’s Hill to preserve historic access to motorized recreation trails on adjoining public lands.
Trustee Erik Woog made a presentation last Wednesday to the rest of the council about the parcel, which is west of County Road 22 and south of the landfill. The property is owned by the Colorado State Land Board, which Woog said is not comfortable with the Bureau of Land Management motorized trail that crosses the parcel.
An OHV trail is not a permitted use on State Land Board property, he said, adding that the land is also home to an endangered plant species, which could restrict use of some areas.
“The State Land Board is very interested in selling,” Woog said. “It has great park potential.”
Woog also said he thinks the town could send a message to the BLM about how serious the community is regarding recreational use of public lands by purchasing the parcel and using it to provide a corridor to existing public lands trails.
Woog said he did not know the precise size of the property and its potential cost, but at the end of the discussion other trustees agreed such details should be explored.
“This is what Kremmling is all about,” said Town Manager Ted Soltis, explaining that many citizens moved to Kremmling to take advantage of recreational opportunities on nearby public lands.
“I think it’s extremely valuable: Our industry in this community is recreation,” said Trustee Mike Music.
“I see this as a liability to the town,” said Trustee Grant Burger III.
He said he is concerned about the presence of an endangered species and the fact that parts of the parcel used to be a landfill.
Trustee Isaac Schonlau also expressed reservations about a potential purchase, saying he would prefer a lease to outright acquisition.
Police Chief Scott Spade noted that from a law enforcement perspective, it would preferable if the town owned the land, because officers would then have the jurisdiction, now lacking, to respond to incidents that occur on the property.
Soltis and Woog pointed out that various state and federal grants might be available to assist in the purchase and development of the land.
Officials agreed to examine a potential purchase in greater detail and bring the issue back before the council in the future.