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“Jefferson County supports an amazing richness of rare fauna and flora well worth preserving for future generations,” said the authors of a 2011 Survey of Critical Biological Resources for Colorado State Univeristy’s Colorado Natural Heritage Program. “The diversity of species and plant communities that range from subalpine forests to ponderosa pine forests and savannas, from shrublands to mixed grass and tall grass prairies, substantiate the important contribution of the County to the biodiversity of both Colorado and the world.”
This assessment is from the 2011 Survey of Critical Biological Resources in Jefferson County. Jeffco Open Space commissioned the report to further guide our conservation efforts on over 52,000 acres of parks and properties. In addition, Colorado State University Extension provides extensive resources for farmers and homeowners to conserve natural resources.
Lands that will be treasured for generations have been preserved through acquisitions, donations and conservation easements. Jeffco Open Space works only with willing sellers and donors and negotiates a fair value, according to the procedures of our 2008 Master Plan Update . After land becomes part of our system, the real stewardship work begins with resource inventories and comprehensive planning.
Our parks are a haven for animals of all shapes and sizes, from amphibians and Abert’s squirrels to bighorn sheep and black bear. We protect wildlife health and habitat through surveys, comprehensive park plans, seasonal and permanent closures and support through research studies. Help by honoring closures, reporting bear and mountain lion sightings and knowing how to live with wildlife. You can also manage your own property with wildlife in mind with CSU resources .
Preserving habitat along bodies of water is vital to wildlife diversity and health. To respect wildlife needs, areas may be closed to visitors. In addition, to minimize erosion and the build-up of silt in waterways, we design and build trails that are sensitive to the environment. To protect fisheries, we support restoration work and compliance with state fishing regulations.
Restoring forest ecosystems involves thinning tree stands, providing fuel breaks and using prescribed burns to prevent vegetation buildup that feeds extreme fires. Restoring forests to historic densities also helps slow the advance of mountain pine beetle and dwarf mistletoe. Through our Weed and Pest Management program, we help the public to manage mountain pine beetle and noxious weeds. Through the Native Plant Master Program , you can learn to distinguish native plants from noxious weeds. Download Forest Management Fact Sheet
Good visitor conduct protects natural resources, you and your pet. Honor the principles of Leave No Trace, stay on trail and keep dogs on leash so as not to harass wildlife. Jeffco Parks offers many learning opportunities to increase understanding of ecosystems. As a volunteer, you can take a leading role in resource conservation.
Administration & Courts Facility 100 Jefferson County Parkway Golden, Colorado 80419 (303) 279-6511
© 2013-2014 Jefferson County, CO.