by Pam Zubeck
The agreement was based on the Broadmoor constructing an equestrian facility adjacent to Bear Creek Regional Park. Since this has not occurred, the Broadmoor has not used the trails and the lease payment has not been required.So it would seem that The Broadmoor is hedging its bets.
In recent discussions with the Broadmoor regarding the agreement, they asked that the agreement not be formerly cancelled until the legal action has concluded regarding the property swap with the City.
The 2nd NES The Broadmoor meeting was highly contentious. A more detailed outline will follow, but among the issues inciting outrage were the lack of answers to questions like how many horses are planned for the development, continued outrage over the change in the building envelope which takes up most of Mesa (i.e. blocks public access) from what the City Council had originally approved, an addition now of another building structure (an office) North Cheyenne Canon will lose its National Historic Designation as a result of this, and Strawberry Fields is, according to US Fish and Wildlife is in the heart of the high critical habitat for the Mexican Spotted Owl.
Several people have been in touch with USFWS Endangered Species, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Sierra Club - Colorado Chapter,Colorado Parks and Wildlife asking that a full survey of the area be done as has Weston, the general environmental survey company hired by the City, recommended in documents acquired in an Open Records request.
Officials at USFS believe that Strawberry Fields is an ideal habitat for the spotted owl because of the topography including mature pines and small caves high in the sandstone for nesting, the numerous slot canyons, the abundance of rodents nearby and close proximity to water. Owls are often seen in the area which has been quiet for over 120 years. There are owls which come from the slot canyons of Turkey Creek Ranch and nest on Fort Carson in the winter as well as a siting near Cheyenne Mountain State Park. So, as you are walking, keep your phones ready to grab a pic and send it to us if you see one. Special thanks to Kent Obee Ruth Obee and Jim Lockhart for speaking out.