Well folks we are halfway through this year already. As far as the Ranch goes everything is up and running for the summer…finally! The reservoir is open and has already been stocked. The burn pit has already been open for several weeks and has seen a lot of wood. Lastly, the RV dump station has water and the bathrooms have been opened. All in all, the ranch is in fairly good shape!
Now, I have been asked to inform the membership of a few things as we head into summer. First, let me say that this is not from your Board of Directors, but from Park County directly. With that in mind I will start. Members of this ranch have been stopping county employees. Mainly the road graders, but others as well. From here on out, if you stop a county employee, they will take down your plate number and turn that over to the Park County Sheriff’s office. These folks do not work for RORA and we have no direct say in what they do. Please notify the appropriate county office if you have a comment or concern. You have been notified.
Next, we have had a lot of new people move into the ranch recently. With this influx of people, we have also seen an increase in wildlife related encounters. Most of these encounters can be avoided if everyone would stop feeding the wildlife. Honestly, this is not just new members, but long-term members as well. Not only is it illegal to feed the wildlife, but it is also incredibly dangerous. We are not in a city and these animals do not need our help. I have a been told that we lost massive numbers of birds to cold this winter. Feeders pulled in late or left out are a main cause. Birds that would normally have flown south, did not, and the results were tragic. When I see the feeding of wildlife, I am obligated to report it to the Department of Wildlife. They have the authority to write tickets as some of you have already found out. We must learn to enjoy nature without interfering with it. Please keep your trash in bear proof containers. If a bear has too many human encounters, he will automatically be euthanized, even when it is the human’s fault. (FYI, it’s usually the human’s fault). Also, we have had an increase of people hitting animals with vehicles. Most of this can be avoided by slowing down.
Speaking of slowing down, the ranch has not slowed at all through the pandemic. I feel it necessary to inform you guys of just how much we have grown in the past few years. We now have over 500 built homes. Out of the 1,500 lots available, that is a lot of houses in a short amount of time. Most of the homes were part time residents. As of now, we have more full-time residents than part time. We are a neighborhood now. People have kids that play near the roads and people walk with their small children. Drive by one of our 2 bus stops, and you will see just how many children live here now. The point is we are no longer just a getaway place. We all are property owners here who must share all the common areas and amenities. We all signed the same declarations, and apparently knew what we were signing.
Lastly, there is an increase of folks cutting the fence lines or putting in gates to gain access to the BLM or National Forest. Colorado is a fence out state. I am required to replace these spots in the fence to keep cattle off the ranch. I will be working with the state agencies to repair the fences and remove the illegal gates this summer. This is another action that is subject to fines. I would suggest having them repaired before they find the gates, and issue a fine.