The Summit Land Conservancy supports Round Valley |

The Summit Land Conservancy supports Round Valley

Megan Yeiter, The Park Record

The Summit Land Conservancy is working toward two goals in Round Valley this summer.

Cheryl Fox, Executive Director of the Summit Land Conservancy, said Park City purchased a land easement on the Osguthorpe farm that stretches across 121 acres at the south end of Round Valley.

In a letter to the editor this week in The Park Record, Fox said the Summit County Council approved spending $300,000 of the Basin’s new open-space bond to help purchase the easement on the farm.

Fox said the Conservancy has agreed to raise another $500,000 along with an additional $40,000 of stewardship funding to help the city purchase the easement.

According to Fox, it’s the Conservancy’s job to protect and guard the land where there are easements.

She explained that conservation easements are legal contracts, which allow the Conservancy to protect that land from development, and stewardship funding helps the conservancy cover its costs.

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"We’re responsible for making sure that what goes on out there is permitted. It would be irresponsible for us to do that without the proper funding," Fox said.

The Park City Council, along with the Summit Land Conservancy, will be working with the Osguthorpe family to maintain the land.

Fox hopes that people walking their dogs and using the trail system will realize that much of the land and trails around Park City are privately owned and not free.

"We get a little complacent about our property here. Someone owns this property so wherever you’re recreating, that’s someone’s property," Fox added, "We hope people will understand that Round Valley is a jewel."

After land easements are signed, Fox explained, there are several organizations that develop those trail systems people enjoy.

"Round Valley has become hugely popular, and partly because some of the places we used to go to now have houses," Fox said.

The Conservancy’s second project is 368 acres at the north end of Round Valley.

According to Fox, the Conservancy needs $6,500 for stewardship funding to ensure the property is taken care of for many years.

The deadline for funding the Osguthorpe farm easement is Jan. 31, 2012. The North Round Valley fundraising is ongoing, but Fox said that if the easement is going to be signed this year, the money needs to be raised by Oct. 31.