Friends of Boulder Open Space was founded in 2006 to bring together community members interested in protecting the ecological health and diversity of Boulder’s extraordinary open space and mountain park lands. Our mission is to promote smart, sensible, conservation-first management of our public lands. Boulder is an outdoor community, and we love to visit and use our open space lands. But as user demand has grown, so too have concerns about human impacts on these lands. Starting in 1999, the City’s Open Space and Mountain Parks Department created a “visitor use” process designed to draft user plans for city open space lands. That process produced a “Visitor Master Plan,” approved by City Council in 2005. The department now is proceeding with the development of a series of area—specific plans called “trail study area” plans.
Friends of Boulder Open Space is concerned that the public passion to use Boulder’s open space lands for recreational enjoyment is overriding our responsibility to thoughtfully manage and preserve these priceless lands. Perhaps because trail study plans focus primarily on recreational uses, there are many more user-oriented participants than conservationists at public meetings. User groups are well organized and often work together to exert increased influence on the process. Conservation-minded participants have, until now, not been equally well organized.
Friends of Boulder Open Space is dedicated to filling that gap. Our goal is to ensure that the primary mission of our open space agencies—to preserve and protect Boulder’s open space lands and the creatures that inhabit them—remains the primary organizing principle behind all preserve management and trail study area plans.
Urban Growth in the Denver-Boulder Metro Area
Why is FOBOS concerned about recreational uses of Boulder open space? Take a look at the way the Denver metropolitan area has grown. The pressures on our lands have grown and will continue to grow. We need to protect our lands while we enjoy them.
Years: 1920, 1940, 1960, 1980, 2000, and 2000 with protected areas in green.
FOBOS Board Members
Raymond Bridge has been active in various issues of environmental preservation in Colorado since moving to Boulder over 35 years ago. He is the author of a number of books, most recently The Geology of Boulder County and the forthcoming Geology of the Denver Area. He is a volunteer naturalist for the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks.
Larry MacDonnell is an attorney. He was the first director of the Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado School of Law, serving in that position from 1993 to 2004. His professional work covers the range of natural resources matters, with an emphasis on water. He was a member of the City of Boulder Open Space Board of Trustees between 1999 and 2004, serving as chair in his final year.
Karen Hollweg began working on open space issues and conservation of habitats in Boulder as a biology teacher in the 1970s. Her career focuses on the improvement of K-12 science education, collaborations between scientists and educators, and the use of science by individuals and groups to inform their personal choices and public policy decisions. She is currently serving as President of the North American Association for Environmental Education.
Ruth Wright chaired PLAN-Boulder in the late 60s and was a leader in passing Boulder’s sales tax for open space in 1967. She has served on POSAC (County Parks and Open Space Advisory Board), Boulder’s Open Space Board, the GOCO Board (Great Outdoors Colorado) which invested in many Boulder County projects, and in the Colorado Legislature for 14 years, with 6 years as House Minority Leader. She is presently on the boards of Northern Water, Colorado Open Lands and the Colorado Water Trust. Protection of open space has been a lifelong goal.
Linda Jourgensen was elected to the Boulder City Council in November, 1977. I served 12 years and was mayor the last five. The early years were full of lots of big open space buys, including almost 500 acres of property condemned just as a purchase was imminent. In 2000, I was appointed to the Open Space Board of Directors and shortly after that to the Visitor Master Plan Committee. Three years later it was ready for council approval. FOBOS came alive in 2007 to follow up on monitoring as the VMP required. I believe this is vital.
After working in the field of child abuse with Human Services and Education, Mary McQuiston decided to change directions and to focus on community land use issues and assist in developing local advocacy groups. As a founder of People for Eldorado Mountain in the late 80’s, Mary continues to be involved in local environmental issues. She is on the Board of PLAN Boulder County, as well as a member of Boulder County’s Parks and Open Space Advisory Board.