In a nutshell: Preserve and protect our Open Space, while carefully considering which uses should be allowed.
2017 is the 50th anniversary of Boulder’s Open Space program, and we’re in the process of kicking off a major strategic visioning process to guide its management for the next 50 years. Open Space is Boulder’s crown jewel, and in the face of a Federal government that seeks to shrink our wild and open places in the name of profit, Boulder should be more dedicated than ever to acquiring and protecting open space.
I believe the revised Open Space Master Plan should set forth a criteria-based decision-making processes for determining which uses, if any, are appropriate for each type of Open Space area. The OSMP should clearly define guidelines and criteria for determining use within areas, but should not make specific determinations of use within specific sites. It should clearly and explicitly describe management theories for each area type, and every effort should be made to allow as many uses as possible on trails, so long as those uses don’t cause degradation of the local ecological and habitat value. The plan should be creative in proposing strategies to mitigate conflicts and challenges; some approaches could be alternating uses by schedule (temporal separation), and imposing restrictions when levels of use cause environmental and habitat degradation.
Open Space must never be open to fracking. We must clearly limit that possibility, support the strategic acquisition of mineral rights under open space when possible, and lobby at the state level for increased local authority to ban or limit fracking activities in Boulder.