Sarvis Creek Event Celebrates Conservation, Partnership
Sep 21th, 2015 | Written by Western Rivers Conservancy
Ruth Welch, Patricia Hesch and Steve Craddock unveil a plaque celebrating the partnership that protected the Hubbard Summer Place property, marking the symbolic opening of the property for public recreation. Photo by Russ Schnitzer.
This Saturday more than 40 people gathered on the banks of the Yampa River to celebrate the successful conservation of the historic Hubbard Summer Camp, near the confluence of the Yampa River and Sarvis Creek. Representatives of Western Rivers Conservancy, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the Yampa River System Legacy Partnership, the Yampa Valley Flyfishers, and the Routt County Board of Commissioners were in attendance.
The 43-acre Hubbard Summer Camp property lies three miles downstream from Stagecoach Reservoir and controls more than one-third of a mile of the Yampa River. The property connects the Sarvis State Wildlife Area upstream to public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management downstream. Conserving this property created new access to a stretch of this classic tailwater fishery that was formerly closed to the public.
Early efforts to conserve the Hubbard property date back to 1995. Conservation efforts gained momentum in 2011 when the Yampa River System Legacy Partnership sought inclusion of this parcel in the America’s Great Outdoors initiative. It was then that the BLM approached WRC about acquiring and conserving the property.
“When we learned about Hubbard’s Summer Place,” says WRC President Sue Doroff, “We immediately recognized the need to protect it and make it accessible. It’s a special place, with outstanding conservation values and great potential for low-impact recreation.”
WRC purchased the property in 2013 and began working to assemble the funding to allow the BLM and USFS to acquire the lands. With support from the Yampa River System Legacy Partnership, it conveyed the property to the BLM and USFS in December 2014 so it could be forever managed for conservation and recreation.
The day began with the symbolic removal of a cross-river fence that separated the Sarvis State Wildlife Area and the Hubbard Summer Camp property, as well as the addition of a fence ladder to enhance access between the two parcels. Volunteers from the Yampa Valley Flyfishers and the BLM and Forest Service removed heavy cabling and old barbed wire. Colorado Parks and Wildlife supported the effort by creating a staging area for the project, providing supplies, and hauling off fencing material that was removed from the river and its banks.