Middle Park Conservation District releases 2022 land guide full of resources for homeowners | SkyHiNews.com

Middle Park Conservation District releases 2022 land guide full of resources for homeowners

Eliza Noe
Summit Daily News
Hikers overlook the Fraser Valley.
Ian MacDonald / For Sky-Hi News

Middle Park Conservation District — which covers Grand and Summit counties — has released its 2022 guide for homeowners, including the most up-to-date land resources.

Katlin Miller, district manager for the conservation district, said that the goal of the guide is to provide local resources to homeowners about how to take care of their land and homes. The 64-page guide touches on various aspects of responsible land ownership practices, including how to handle noxious weedswater conservation and maintaining healthy forests.

Miller said that even residents who have lived in the county for decades can look through this year’s guide for updated practices and tips they may not know that could help manage their land more mindfully.

“The guide is all about trying to help residents and landowners in Middle Park to be able to conserve their land. We try to make it so that both people who have lived here forever and people who are new coming to the area can learn something from it,” Miller said. “The goals of the guide are to better understand the limitations and opportunities created by living in the mountains, set achievable goals for your property and lifestyle, grasp conservation-minded principles and acknowledge the importance of conserving our precious natural resources for future generations.”

The 2022 guide marks the third year that Middle Park Conservation District has provided the guide for residents. The first 32-page guide was released in 2020, and since then, it has expanded. Last year’s guide had 52 pages, and the district added an additional 12 for this year’s edition. 

Though sections do not change drastically, partners let the conservation district know if more information can be added to sections that may need updating or highlighting from year to year. Partners for the guide include Summit County government, the Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado State University’s extension service and others. These partners submit their own contributions as well as review contents of the guide to make sure everything is updated before new guides are published.

“Routt County had one that was published probably 10 years ago, so I started looking at that one and kind of using that as a template. From there, I just kind of started bolstering it from information that I know from Grand County from people calling and saying, ‘Hey, I don’t know anything about this, and I need to know about it,’” Miller added. “Whether it was information I already had available or it was me researching those topics, I’ve just started adding pages and adding topics as people were telling me what they wanted to know about how to live in the high country.”

Miller said that wildfire information was one of the larger updates to the guide this year. The 2022 update is made up of nearly a dozen pages of tips about home wildfire mitigation, fire restrictions and evacuation planning. This includes recreational fire planning, where Summit County has stricter rules than other communities.

“Under a fire-code amendment adopted by the Summit County Commissioners and each of the town councils, a permit is required for all recreational (or ‘backyard’) campfires in Summit County,” the guide’s fire section reads. “This includes campfires on private lands. Residents of the Summit Fire & EMS response area (Copper, Dillon, Frisco, Keystone, Montezuma, Summit Cove, Silverthorne, Wildernest/Mesa Cortina and the lower Blue Valley) may apply for a permit from Summit Fire & EMS. Residents of the Red, White and Blue Fire Protection District, which includes all areas south of Farmer’s Korner, including Breckenridge and Blue River, may apply for a permit with Red, White and Blue Fire.”

The 2022 guide also has an extensive reference page, featuring 79 references such as scientific articles and various publications from the district’s partners. Print copies of this year’s guide are currently being published, and interested readers can visit the Colorado State Extension office for one or email middleparkcd@gmail.com. An online PDF version of the guide is available at MiddleParkCD.com.

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