Beaver Brook Watershed History & Rules
History of the Watershed
Using a $5.2 million Lottery bridge loan from the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Trust Fund, Clear Creek County Open Space acquired the remaining 1442 acres of the Beaver Brook Watershed in April, 2005, securing more time for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to complete the purchase and preservation of the scenic wildlife habitat located east of Mount Evans.
With the Forest Service's option to purchase the remaining acreage from the City of Golden set to expire, the integrity of the watershed's unspoiled mountain terrain and rich wildlife habitat was jeopardized by imminent development. The latest effort of Clear Creek County Open Space, the Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT), and GOCO to purchase the property ensures that it will not be developed, and buys the
Forest Service more time to secure the money necessary from Congress to purchase the remaining property – now from Clear Creek County.
In 2001, a partnership, that included the USFS, Clear Creek County and MALT, reached an agreement with the City of Golden for the USFS to purchase the land in the watershed for $21.1 million. Since that time, the USFS has used $15.5 million in federal appropriations to purchase 3929 of the acres and add them to the Arapaho National Forest. The remaining acres that Clear Creek County acquired had to be purchased by May 2005 to meet the conditions of the agreement. If the purchase had not been completed, Golden would have had the right to sell the property, which was zoned and approved for approximately 40 homes.
Located just west of Evergreen, the Beaver Brook Watershed is part of a 20-mile wildlife corridor between Elk Meadow in Jefferson County and Mount Evans. It is inhabited by a variety of wildlife including elk, deer, bear, turkey and mountain lion, as well as rare plant species. Part of the watershed is also traversed by Highway 103, providing a popular scenic drive between Evergreen and Echo Lake.
Clear Creek County Open Space is currently in the process of devising a management plan (PDF) for the Beaver Brook Watershed. Current work includes considering access points, erecting gates, and achieving an understanding of baseline conditions. Simply put, the Beaver Brook Watershed will allow for non-motorized recreation. However, a few rules of use, listed below, exist on this property.
Rules of Use for the Beaver Brook Watershed
- The following recreational activities are permitted on Beaver Brook Watershed Lands:
- Mountain biking on trails
- Cross country skiing
- Horseback riding
- Dogs are permitted on leash only
- The following is prohibited on Beaver Brook Watershed Lands:
- Motorized vehicles are prohibited
- Vandalism is prohibited
- Fires are prohibited
- Target shooting is prohibited
- Cutting down trees is prohibited
- Swimming and entry into the water is prohibited
- Dogs in the water is prohibited
- Dumping is prohibited
- The following requires a special use permit:
- Camping and special events by permit only
- Regarding fishing:
- Fishing in Lookout Mountain Reservoir is currently not permitted at this time. Such use is expected to be permitted in the very near future