2010 ANNUAL REPORT
“There can be no purpose moreinspiring than to begin the age of restoration, reweaving the wondrous diversity of life that stillsurrounds us.”
OUR 10TH ANNIVERSARY!
JULY 2011: YOUTH CORPS HELP SAGE-GROUSE
PLACERVILLE: Thanks to a grant to TLR from Great Outdoors Colorado, and an extra special effort by Leigh Robertson of the San Miguel Gunnison Sage-Grouse Working Group, a team of 12 from the Southwest Youth Corps spent three weeks at three sites in San Miguel County this past summer, performing a variety of habitat improvement projects to benefit Gunnison Sage- grouse and other important Colorado wildlife species on both private and public lands in southwest Colorado. GOCO funding truly allowed for a win-win situation, creating work opportunities and hands-on education for Colorado teenagers, while improving much-needed habitat for the rare Gunnison Sage-grouse at the same time. All of the private lands upon which these projects took place are properties protected by conservation easement acquired in-part with GOCO funds, including the Baker Ranch on Iron Springs Mesa.
We were impressed by the quality of work provided by the Southwest Conservation Corps crew and their leaders. The teens worked hard and had a positive attitude. In all, the crew installed markers on over 5 miles of fence to minimize grouse, deer, and elk entanglements with barbed wire fences. This will lead to fewer injuries and fatalities. The crew also removed old, abandoned barbed wire fences that posed hazards to wildlife, and manually excavated a silted spring in an effort to restore wet meadow habitat in dry sagebrush rangeland.
And most of all, THANK YOU KIDS!
R to L:Thomas McPherson, Luke Sutherlin, Dylan Lindberg, Bryce Hoyt, Kayla Rowe, DeWarren Marshall, Danzig Davis, Meghan Shanahan, J.R. Adams, Leigh Robertson
Not pictured: Dakota Winter, Chris Woods and Danielle VanOven
Thank you GOCO
Fearless Leader: PAT WILLITS LOOKS BACK AT 10 YEARS AT TLR
Many of you know our story. In the late 1990’s, while working for the Nature Conservancy, Ibecame increasingly aware of important land conservation projects that were not getting off the ground because of lawyers fears of complicated environmental liability issues. Standing around a camp fire, deep in the heart of the Grand Canyon, in the spring of 1997, Roy Young and I started comparing notes. Roy had a deep concern for the number of abandoned mines that dot the west that lay unclaimed, scars on the landscape, vast acres of waste rock and tailings piles, many still hemorrhaging contaminated water. Roy was ready to put his own money on the line to jump-start the cleanup of some of these sites, but I fire-hosed his idea, saying even if you had all the money in the world, lawyers would tell you to stay away from abandoned mine cleanup,or you’ll get stuck with owning your very own superfund site!
“Well damn-it Pat, you need to do something about that!”
Two years later, Roy, attorney Jeff Kodish, mining exec Geoff Kodish and I met to brainstorm an answer to Roy’s challenge, andfrom that meeting, the idea of TLR was born. In the spring of 2000 TLR was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, dedicated to
understanding and overcoming environmental liability issues so that abandoned mines in the west can be remediated and restored.
Today, TLR is a team of dedicated professionals from environmental consulting, law, conservation, business, government relations, and public policy, who deeply care about the environment, and who have chosen to give back by donating time from their very busy lives to
help the communities TLR serves. This is especially important because so many of the communities TLR works with are small, Western Slope towns with very
limited financial resources.
Here’s a list of the current TLR team lineup:
Geoff Hoyl- Chairman
Max Dodson- Advisor
David Scott-Advisor http://www.restorationtrust.org/directors.html
$ 4m leveraged to cleanup 4 sites, conserve 3670 acres; complete 300+ site assessments.
- Twelve Conservation Easements totaling 3205 Acres; retiring 85 home sites; landing $800k cash to landowner
- 12 parcels totaling 485 acres into Public Ownership
- $200k GOCO funds & $250k Idarado Natural Resource Damage Funds to TLR partnerprojects, including Down Valley Park gravel pit restoration; Placerville CO 2003
- Leveraged $160k Summit County cash with $195k EPA grant to cleanup Shoe BasinMine; Summit County 2004
- Fee title donation of Chicken and New Deal Mining Claims to TLR; Red Mtn CO 2008
- USEPA $750k cleanup of North Star Mill; Ophir CO 2009
- USFS $500k Carbonero Tailings Cleanup; Ophir CO 2010
- WORK IN PROGRESS: Rico CO Voluntary Clean-upStakeholders work to clean-up the Howard ForkTHANK YOU TELLURIDE FOUNDATION, TOWN OF OPHIR, USFSOPHIR: The Howard Fork of the San Miguel River, running through the Ophir Valley south of Telluride, has been a TLR priority since 2001. The Howard Fork had been the site of a productive mining boom that lasted from the late 1880s up to the early 1950s, leaving in its wake dozens of abandoned mining sites, several of which continue to degrade water quality to this day. The final report of a three-year study, the “San Miguel River Restoration Assessment”, identified the Howard Fork as the toprestoration priority in the San Miguel River Watershed. In May of 2001TLR convened and facilitated the “Howard Fork Roundtable”, bringing together landowners, local officials, state and federal regulators, and citizens to prioritize cleanup opportunities and identify information needs.All of TLR’s work in the Ophir Valley since 2001 has been to focus onfurthering the implementation of the goals and objectives identified by the Howard Fork Roundtable.
For 2010, the Telluride Foundation, the United States Forest Service, and the Town of Ophir each provided funding to TLR to continue to spearhead a variety of stakeholder activities in the valley. Most notably, TLR was pleased that one of its top priority sites, the Carbonero Tailings, just east of the town, along the Howard Fork River, after years of study, was consolidated and capped by contractors working for the US Forest Service. TLR characterized the site in 2005, and facilitated three years of public outreach on behalf of the US Forest
Service that ultimately led to the cleanup. Good Job, Forest Service!