February 16, 2024 – Dakota Pacific schedule updates, 910 & Ure Ranch news & Basin Rec planning

Hey everyone! Welcome back to another week of news here on Summit in Six!

In today’s episode, we are going to cover some important upcoming elections info, changes to the Dakota Pacific meeting schedule, updates on last year’s 910 Cattle Ranch and Ure Ranch property acquisitions, as well as an overview of Basin Recreation’s 10-year strategic plan that was presented to council this week.

Alright, let’s get into the news!

2024 Elections – Ballots Mailed!

Earlier this week, the Summit County Clerk’s Office put ballots in the mail for the 2024 Presidential Primary Election, so voters can expect those ballots to hit their mailboxes by this weekend. To learn more about this year’s election cycle and what you can expect, listen to a special episode of “Summit in Six” with County Clerk, Eve Furse, out now!
Visit: summitcounty.info/elections2024 to tune in. 

Dakota Pacific Meeting Schedule Update

We want to make the public aware of some scheduling updates involving Dakota Pacific meetings:

  • There will be a meeting on February 22 at 3 p.m. at the Richins Building
  • Dates and times for a public hearing/comment and final decision by Council are all postponed and to be determined. So stay tuned here for additional updates to the schedule.

You can view the current meeting schedule and recordings of past meetings as they become available at https://summitcounty.info/DPRE (all caps).

910 Cattle Ranch Update to Council

During the Council meeting this week, County Lands and Natural Resources Director, Jess Kirby gave an update on the two properties the County entered into option agreements to purchase in 2023: The 910 Cattle Ranch near Jeremy Ranch, and the Ure Ranch in Kamas.

First let’s dive into Ure Ranch Updates and upcoming opportunities for public engagement surrounding planning for this property:

  • It has been almost a year since Summit County has come under an option agreement to purchase the Ure Ranch which is an 834-acre family farm located in the Kamas Valley. The Ure Family chose the County as the optimal owner and steward of this land for future generations. The first information session about the property was held on January 22nd. Around 150 community members attended.
  • On February 29th, there will be a second information session for the community to attend and give input on the property. It will be held at the Kamas Library Building from 5:30 pm until 7:30 pm. 

You may be wondering: “What’s the difference between this upcoming information session and the last one?” At the February 29th meeting there will be a short presentation by County Lands and Natural Resources Director, Jess Kirby. She will summarize the findings from the hundreds of comments received so far from the community online and in person. The presentation will dive into what a conservation easement is and what protections it provides in regard to this property.

The evening will close out with an engagement activity. If you can’t attend the presentation, you should still come for the activity and to ask questions one-on-one with staff familiar with the project.

It’s important that we reiterate that no action has been taken in regards to the planning for this property, we are still in the public input stage and exploring what the community does or does not wish to see.

Now we will shift gears to updates regarding the nearly 9,000-acre 910 Cattle Ranch located in Jeremy Ranch which the County entered into an option agreement to purchase in August 2023. The property is one of the last contiguous mountain ranches privately held by a single landowner in western Summit County and the Snyderville Basin area.

Since August, County staff has been:

  • Focused on gathering data on what wildlife are present in the area
  • Creating a volunteer Ambassador Program
  • Taking into consideration information from a USU extension capstone project on the “Prospects and Constraints for a Recreational Fishery on East Canyon Creek”

During the presentation, an update on funding for the property was given. So far $15 million has been secured and $40 million in pending grants, most of which should be announced in the spring.

You can stay up to date on information about this property at: summitcounty.org/910ranch

Basin Recreation Updates

Director of Basin Recreation, Dana Jones, presented to council this week on a 10-Year Strategic Plan and a 5-Year Trails Plan for the special service district.

The strategic planning process began in August 2022 and included extensive public engagement, an analysis of existing facilities and resources, feedback from stakeholder groups, and more.

For some background: Basin Recreation manages over 2,700 acres of open space and over 170 miles of paved, soft surface and natural surface trails. Like many mountain communities, Summit County has experienced significant growth over the last decade. This rapid population growth has surpassed the capacity for much of the existing recreational infrastructure provided by The District and surrounding recreation providers creating a shortage of facility space.

During their presentation to council, Basin Recreation staff also reviewed their 5-Year Trails Plan. Some of the key takeaways from that plan include:

  1. Providing high-quality trail experiences
  2. Developing a connected network of trails
  3. Providing and supporting a diversity of trail experiences
  4. Developing a sustainable and environmentally responsible trail system
  5. Develop an all-season trail network
  6. Provide programs to build a community culture of trail use

The plans will be finalized and released this spring, so stay tuned for updates at basinrecreation.org


Summit County Nonprofit Tax Exemption

We are going to close out today’s episode with a few reminders. The first reminder concerns Summit County nonprofits. The deadline to submit applications for tax exemption is March 1, 2024. This is for all renewal applications and new exemptions.

Organizations can complete their annual renewal or submit an application for a new exemption using the online application system. The system will allow an organization to apply online and submit all necessary documentation. Access the online system at summitcounty.info/exemptnpo

President’s Day: Lastly, we want to give a reminder that County offices are closed on Monday, January 19th in observance of President’s Day and we open our doors again on Tuesday, February 20.