GOCO Awards Grant for North Pole Basin

North pole basin crested butte schofield
Dawn Reeder

The North Pole Basin is one step closer to becoming saved for public access and scientific research. On Dec. 11, the Crested Butte Land Trust received a Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant, providing $700,000 in lottery funds for the purchase of the property.

The Land Trust was thrilled that the North Pole Basin project drew top honors in a very competitive round—a tribute to the project’s importance. GOCO awards grants twice annually via multiple grant programs, including a program for open space projects, which are designed to address the state’s conservation challenges by helping to protect land along river corridors, urban parcels, agricultural lands and wildlife habitat.

The Land Trust, in partnership with Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR), and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL), began an initiative to conserve the North Pole Basin last spring. CBMR has agreed to sell the property at 30% below the appraised value. RMBL and the Land Trust are working to raise the remaining $400,000 needed to secure the North Pole Basin.

Long owned by CBMR, the North Pole Basin is approximately 160 acres in size and is located just west of Schofield Pass. The property boasts incredible views of Colorado’s famous fourteeners. The North Pole Creek, a vital water source for recharging ground water supplies, cascades through the property, and provides life sustaining habitat for flora and fauna.

Dawn Reeder

Preservation of the North Pole Basin complements the Land Trust’s efforts in and around Schofield, creating a wildlife corridor and expanding research opportunities for RMBL. A hiking trail will provide public access on an incredibly unique piece of land. “Opening up the area to hiking will be a real gift to the community,” says Ann Johnston, Executive Director of the Land Trust. “We’ve enjoyed exploring the landscape, which offers a number of habitats key for wildlife.”

For more information or to contribute to this important project, please contact Ann at 970.349.1206 or director@cblandtrust.org.

GOCO is the result of an initiative passed by voters in 1992. As the recipient of approximately half of Colorado Lottery proceeds, $57 million in Fiscal Year 2012, GOCO awards grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. Since 1994, nearly 3,500 projects in all of the state’s 64 counties have benefited from GOCO funding. For more information about GOCO, visit www.goco.org.