GOCO grants will fund rodeo arena improvements, protect open space
Parts of two South Routt County ranches will be protected from future development, and the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena in Steamboat Springs will get $150,000 in upgrades thanks to grants from the state of Colorado.
Great Outdoors Colorado, or GOCO, on Wednesday announced $15.6 million in funding for 37 projects across Colorado. The Routt County projects received $706,710 in funding.
GOCO invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers and open spaces.
The city of Steamboat Springs applied for the grant to make improvements to the rodeo arena.
According to a news release, key structural elements have reached the end of their useful life, and renovations are critical to ensuring the rodeo facility can continue to operate safely year-round.
Yampa Valley Land Trust received $559,710 in funding to purchase conservation easements on 724 acres of the Accord Ranch II and 840 acres on the Rossi Ranch.
Yampa Valley Land Trust is a non-profit land conservation organization that works in partnership with willing landowners to protect rural landscapes and significant ecological resources.
“We pay for a part of the value, and they donate part of the value,” Yampa Valley Land Trust Executive Director Susan Dorsey said.
Dorsey said ranch families in the past have used proceeds to support their continued agricultural heritage.
In the past 20 years, the organization has preserved 54,300 acres.
The ranch lands being preserved are habitat for the greater sage grouse and the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse. The lands also offer views from Colorado Highway 131 and the Rossi Ranch borders the Flat Tops Scenic Byway.
“Both of them are contiguous with other conserved lands,” Dorsey said.
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