Jeffco open space

Open Space accepts Golden Cliffs Reserve

County to continue preservation efforts at historical site

Courtesy photo
Volunteers at the Colorado Mountain Club stand together during the Adopt-A-Crag event on Oct. 15, 2011 at the Golden Cliffs Reserve at North Table Mountain Park. The event helped steward the reserve and provided mini-workshops structured around a climbing and science curriculum. The club will remain a resource for Jeffco Open Space should they ever need extra help in preserving the special reserve.
Courtesy Jeffco
The Board of County Commissioners approved a 29 acre parcel of land from the Access Fund to Open Space to be used for hiking complete with trails and parking for up to 52 vehicles.

When the late Mayford Peery gave the Access Fund the cliff lines of North Table Mountain, he did so in the hope that hikers would forever be able to enjoy the beauty and camaraderie he had found on the plateau.

Peery, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 89, owned a portion of North Table Mountain, and made considerable contributions to Golden through land development and business. He was a Golden High School graduate, CSM alum and wrestling champion, and worked with his father at the Golden Mill and Elevator for some time.

The Access Fund, an organization dedicated to the preservation of climbing sites deemed valuable to hikers, have worked to supervise the generous 29-acre donation from Peery for almost 20 years. The area known as the Golden Cliffs Reserve is located on the south side of North Table Mountain Park and the end of Perry Parkway, just north of Highway 58.

After almost two decades of preserving the site, the Access Fund decided to pay it forward and hand the area over to Jeffco Open Space in a resolution that was passed by the board of county commissioners in December of last year. Board members from the Access Fund have not released an official announcement about the donation as the land transfer is not yet finalized, said Joe Sambataro, national access director and northwest regional director for the Access Fund.

“We’re excited and confident this is going forward,” he said. Most important, Sambataro said it is preserving the legacy of Mayford Peery and his generous gift to the climbing community.

In order to preserve the hiking and rock climbing uses, the Access Fund is requiring that such those uses continue in perpetuity as a condition of conveyance, unless natural disasters or wildlife protection issues temporarily restricts public access. The conveyance deed will also require that the property ownership revert to the Access Fund if for any reason the county is unable to keep the area open to climbing.

“I think it’s clear that Jefferson County has demonstrated a real commitment to recreation,” Brady Robinson, executive director for the Access Fund said. “It’s obvious the county is the right home for this piece of property.”

Once the transfer is complete, the property will be added to county Open Space, which will then take charge in land management. Although there is no set timeline on when the transfer will be complete, Access Fund directors predict an official transfer in the spring of 2014. When this happens, the Access Fund and Jeffco hope to have a celebration to commemorate the transfer with the dedication of a plaque in Mayford Peery’s memory.

“It’s a great victory for the city of Golden and for all hikers in the Front Range in general,” Robinson said. “Now that Golden has a climbing gym, what climber wouldn’t want to live there?”

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