Open Space Advisory Committee announces new and emeritus members

Open Space Advisory Committee members new and old stand together at the Board of County Commissioners meeting last week.
Courtesy photo

The Eagle County Open Space and Natural Resources Department announced new and emeritus members to the Open Space Advisory Committee. The appointments were confirmed by the Board of County Commissioners on June 14.

“We had tremendous interest from the community, receiving the most applications ever for vacancies on the committee,” said Open Space and Natural Resource Director Marcia Gilles. “We also want to acknowledge and honor the legacy of our inaugural emeritus members, whose impact on our community will last in perpetuity.” 

After an application period earlier this year, which included vetting by the Board of County Commissioners, three new committee members were selected. The new members include: Brian Lieberman, open space and trails manager for the town of Eagle, who was appointed for a three-year term; Brittany Parker, a student, marketing manager for Badfish SUP, and an intern at the Eagle River Watershed Council, who was appointed for a two-year term; and financial advisor Bret Hooper, who was appointed for a two-year term.

Emeritus designation is conferred on departing committee members who have served for a minimum of 12 years. They are appointed at the discretion of the open space director or their designee. Individuals elevated to emeritus status include Tom Edwards, appointed to the committee at its inception in 2003 and who was instrumental in the conservation of 14,000 acres — the total amount the program has protected; Chupa Nelson, whose service began in 2009 and who participated in the conservation of 6,600 acres; and Tom Henderson who has served since 2007 and helped conserve 8,600 acres.

Four members of the committee applied for and were approved for reappointment. Bill Heicher, retired district wildlife manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, was reappointed for a two-year term. Planning consultant Bob Schultz was also reappointed for a two-year term. Cattle rancher and lifelong Eagle County resident Jennifer Jones was reappointed for a three-year term. And real estate company owner and broker Josh Lautenberg was reappointed for a three-year term. 

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The purpose of the committee is to recommend funding for Open Space acquisition projects to the Board of County Commissioners. This includes fee-title purchases for Eagle County or other government agency ownership (i.e. BLM, USFS, Town of Eagle, Town of Avon, etc.) or funding conservation projects such as Conservation Easements on public or private lands.  

The committee reviews projects presented by Open Space staff and provides appropriate recommendations on funding and completing these conservation acquisitions. Relationships in the community are paramount, as members are ambassadors for the Open Space program. The committee does not oversee the Open Space Department staff, manage existing Open Space properties, or provide direction on the program’s operational budget apart from acquisitions. 

To learn more about Eagle County Open Space public access, partnerships, and conservation opportunities, visit the Open Space program online.

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