Eagle Ranch Golf Club recognized for environmental excellence | VailDaily.com

Eagle Ranch Golf Club recognized for environmental excellence

Enterprise staff report
Workers at Eagle Ranch Golf Club maintain the new bee hives located on the property. The course recently retained its designation as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
Special to the Enterprise |

Eagle Ranch Golf Club has retained its designation as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” through the international Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses.

Eagle Ranch Golf Club was designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary in 2003 and is one of 901 courses in the world to currently hold the distinction.

“We are very proud of our efforts in water conservation, maintaining water quality, providing wildlife habitat and more,” said Jeff Boyer, Eagle Ranch Director of Golf. “Not only do we provide a beautiful sanctuary for golfers, but it is also a beautiful sanctuary for wildlife and we actually improve the environment around us.”

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, endorsed by the United States Golf Association, provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat and protect natural resources. Golf courses from the United States, Africa, Australia, Canada, Central America, Europe, Mexico, and Southeast Asia have achieved certification in the program.

In a letter commending Eagle Ranch Golf Course for its efforts, Laura Karosic of Audubon International cited the operation’s many projects including construction of nesting boxes and the conversion of 38 acres of previously maintained area to dry native grasses, meadows and riparian zones.

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Although the Audubon group is most closely associated with bird habitat, Karosic also commended the course for its work with local organizations and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management “in creating elk habitat off-site to lessen the impact of elk on your course.’”

“Your plan to begin bee keeping on the course is also very exciting,” Karosic said, noting Eagle Ranch is part of a growing movement to include hives at golf course properties.

Boyer credited Golf Course Superintendent Derek Rose with implementing all of the necessary requirements for Audubon certification.

“Derek and his staff work hard to maintain the course, while always considering its impact on our environment. Something they are very excited about this year is the new beekeeping project,” said Boyer.

“Eagle Ranch Golf Club has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They are to be commended for preserving the natural heritage of the area by protecting the local watershed and providing a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property,” said Doug Bechtel, executive director at Audubon International.

“To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas,” said Bechtel. These categories include: Environmental Planning, Wildlife and Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.

Courses go through a recertification process every two years.

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