South Boulder Creek
The tradition of land preservation runs deep in the Toll family. In 1994, the late Henry Toll, Jr. and Giles Toll (brothers) conveyed 1,320 acres to the U.S. Forest Service, paving the way for James Peak Wilderness to be established in 2002. A generation earlier, Roger Wolcott Toll played a role in establishing Rocky Mountain National Park and later served as Park Superintendent. In 2015, the family once again made a commitment to preservation when they worked with the Fund to ensure that the remainder of their large land holding in the South Boulder Creek watershed would be conserved in perpetuity.
Our RoleThe Conservation Fund facilitated this multi-year effort to conserve all 4,700 acres owned by two branches of the Toll family for over 120 years. A conservation easement through the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program was placed on 3,334 acres with funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Boulder County, and Great Outdoors Colorado. This land remains in the Toll’s private ownership, with the easement is held by the Colorado State Forest Service. An additional 823 acres, buffering the James Peak Wilderness Area, were acquired by the U.S. Forest Service. The last 539 acres, including the ecologically important Mammoth Gulch riparian corridor, were acquired by Denver Water.
"Completing this conservation easement proves how a collaborative partnership of land trusts and local, state and federal government can work with private landowners to achieve a significant legacy of land preservation for generations to come."
—Deb Gardner, Boulder County Board of Commissioners
Why This Project MattersA top priority for federal, state and local agencies, the Toll property protects drinking water supplies for Denver and Boulder, and ensures that the scenic landscape approaching the James Peak Wilderness remains unchanged. The federal lands that surround the private Toll property—James Peak Wilderness, Indian Peaks Wilderness and the Roosevelt National Forest—are popular year-round destinations for outdoor recreation. These activities provide local jobs and support Colorado’s substantial outdoor recreation economy.
The Toll property contains a broad system of Nordic trails operated by Eldora Mountain Resort which are popular among recreational skiers, local ski clubs and schools, and the University of Colorado’s Nordic team. Completion of this project also comes with an agreement to establish an important new trail link that will be managed by Boulder County. The new non-motorized trail will cross the private Toll property and connect with popular recreation areas on national forest lands that adjoin it on the east and west.
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