Guest Editorial: Osguthorpe Farm is a community treasure in need of saving
December 5, 2017
How many of you have enjoyed the Old Ranch Road area? Have you biked past the farms on the way to Round Valley? Taken your kids to a soccer game at Willow Creek Park or Matt Knoop Park? Walked the Willow Creek and Mcleod Creek trails? If you have, you know what a treasure we have nestled right in the middle of our community. This oasis of nature and open vistas is aptly named for the "Old Ranches" and farms that occupy this rare flat land nestled between our majestic mountains and provide some of the only remaining vestiges of our community's agricultural heritage.
Unfortunately, like much of the Park City area, the relentless charge of development has gobbled up most of the open land, farms and ranches in the Old Ranch Road area and turned them into housing communities. With a new development slated to eliminate the charming horse farm in the South-East corner of the basin, there is now only one major working farm left in the community – The Osguthorpe Ranch and Farm. Sadly, it too, is now in danger of disappearing forever and becoming a housing development.
Fortunately, we have an opportunity to save this incredible treasure and preserve the farm forever. We would like to thank the parties who have been working so hard to save the farm, and urge them to not let the current disagreements around the periphery of the transaction overshadow the incredible core benefits of saving the farm that will benefit all of us.
To Cheryl Fox and the Summit Land Conservancy: Thank you for your inspired leadership and advocacy for this transaction and securing the federal funding that gives our community the ability to preserve this land at an 80% discount to fair market value!
To the Osguthorpes, thank you for being model stewards of these great lands and for working with our community to save them from development. The trails requested by the County Council will allow more of our residents to appreciate this beautiful land and serve as a lasting tribute to your family's contributions to the community and our agricultural heritage.
To the Summit County Council: Thank you for being forward thinking with the BOSAC Fund and the Snyderville Basin General Plan; both of which were designed to give us opportunities to save lands like this farm. Thank you for working to incorporate trails that will make this oasis even better than today. Please understand that for residents of the Snyderville Basin who have funded a substantial portion of the BOSAC fund, there is no other open space more dear to our hearts and our community than this one in our back yard.
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To all the parties: We respectfully remind you that despite the real disagreements that remain, all of you are on the same side regarding most of your goals and desired outcomes, and you are almost there. A united focus on the benefit of saving the farm with accessible trail corridors for the community to enjoy is a win-win for all sides and an incredible blessing for our community. Please don't let the 5% of the items that are in dispute overshadow the 95% of the items where the goals, interests and outcomes of all the parties are aligned. There are many ways to resolve this negotiation and we hope all parties would agree that they are all far better than losing the Last Ranch on Old Ranch Road to development forever.