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Clear Creek is almost 80% national forest, lending to the county's beautiful vistas and many sprawling hikes through forests and up mountains. A recent Colorado Parks and Wildlife grant will further the county’s outdoor recreation options and help keep the wilderness accessible to all.
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The grant specifically supports NoCo PLACES 2050, which is a broad project aiming to reduce inequality in access to outdoor spaces across the front range, as well as increase diversity and sustainability, according to Amy Saxton, the strategic and community planning division director for Clear Creek County.
Partners in the project include counties and organizations spanning the entire front range like the U.S. Forest Service, Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests and Rocky Mountain National Park, along with Boulder, Gilpin, Jefferson, Larimer and Clear Creek counties.
“We want to work together to find ways to limit the times where people are reinventing the wheel, sharing innovation and really building alignment for things like equity and sustainability, diversity, inclusion,” Saxton said.
A large part of this is resolving how to limit the use of these outdoor areas in a way that is just, she elaborated. Clear Creek forests and outdoor spaces, along with much of the foothills, is overused land according to Saxton, but limiting use usually takes the form of higher costs which is still inequitable. NoCo PLACES 2050 hopes to find alternate solutions that can be used across the entire foothills.
One concrete result of this project that Saxton gave is the Clear Creek Recreation in the Outdoors Management Plan launching this fall, a county-wide GoCo-funded recreational planning effort, which she said would not have come about without NoCo PLACES 2050.
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