Caring for Button Rock Preserve

Within this walk-in only preserve you will find Longmont and Ralph Price Reservoirs along the North Saint Vrain Creek. Longmont manages this natural watershed and reservoirs to preserve the resource and provide storage for the City's Water Utility.

Button Rock Preserve is located seven miles west of the Town of Lyons in the lower montane foothills of the St. Vrain Creek watershed. A section of the North St. Vrain Creek runs through the eastern third of the Preserve and elevations range from 6,000 feet to almost 7,500 feet. The City of Longmont purchased the Preserve primarily to protect and maintain the main municipal drinking water source for Longmont and Lyons. The area also functions as a nature preserve to protect the fragile watershed and allow limited passive recreational opportunities.

Today the Preserve is over 3,000 acres and public recreation activities include passive recreational activities such as fishing, fly-fishing, rock climbing, hiking, wildlife observation, and dog walking.

As visitation continues to increase, the need to balance resource protection with passive recreation has become critical. Visitation policies were developed starting in the 1960s and 1970s and were substantially updated in the 1990’s. We are evaluating current regulations to determine if they still align with the Preserve’s present-day management needs.

Button Rock Preserve is located seven miles west of the Town of Lyons in the lower montane foothills of the St. Vrain Creek watershed. A section of the North St. Vrain Creek runs through the eastern third of the Preserve and elevations range from 6,000 feet to almost 7,500 feet. The City of Longmont purchased the Preserve primarily to protect and maintain the main municipal drinking water source for Longmont and Lyons. The area also functions as a nature preserve to protect the fragile watershed and allow limited passive recreational opportunities.

Today the Preserve is over 3,000 acres and public recreation activities include passive recreational activities such as fishing, fly-fishing, rock climbing, hiking, wildlife observation, and dog walking.

As visitation continues to increase, the need to balance resource protection with passive recreation has become critical. Visitation policies were developed starting in the 1960s and 1970s and were substantially updated in the 1990’s. We are evaluating current regulations to determine if they still align with the Preserve’s present-day management needs.

  • Public Meeting #1 introduces Management Plan project, allows attendees to comment

    11 days ago

    The first Button Rock Management Plan public meeting was held on Thursday, July 25. The goal for this meeting was to introduce the Management Plan project and process to the local community.

    The City and DHM presented to meeting attendees for about 20 minutes, giving a general overview the Management Plan goals and components, as well as future natural and cultural resources to be gathered in Summer 2019. After the Presentation the meeting attendees were invited to ask questions and provide comments. After a 10-minute comment period, meeting attendees were invited to review six (6) informational boards set up at...

    The first Button Rock Management Plan public meeting was held on Thursday, July 25. The goal for this meeting was to introduce the Management Plan project and process to the local community.

    The City and DHM presented to meeting attendees for about 20 minutes, giving a general overview the Management Plan goals and components, as well as future natural and cultural resources to be gathered in Summer 2019. After the Presentation the meeting attendees were invited to ask questions and provide comments. After a 10-minute comment period, meeting attendees were invited to review six (6) informational boards set up at the back of the meeting room, and attendees were invited to discuss additional questions, comments and concerns with DHM and City Staff. Attendees were encouraged to add comments to sticky notes and place the notes on the boards. A comment card box was also provided for attendees to leave additional comments.

    There were 20 total attendees at the meeting that signed in. The City of Longmont had five (5) staff attend the meeting. The City of Boulder had one (1) attendee at the meeting, and the USFS had one (1) attendee. DHM had two (2) attendees at the meeting.

    Most public comments during the presentation focused on the new dog regulations recently enforced at the Preserve. The majority of attendees who made comments about the new dog regulations were unhappy with the regulations and questioned why the regulations were added and necessary. The majority of the comments from the public during the Open House after the Presentation, when everyone was near the display boards, were focused on the need to revisit the dog regulations, and if this management plan process would be addressing further changes to the regulations. The majority of other comments were focused on the rules and regulations, parking constraints, and road traffic at the Preserve.

    Combined Comments from Presentation and Open House:

    • 13 comments were related to the new dog regulations at the Preserve
    • 6 comments were related to rules and regulations at the Preserve including fees, permitting, or passes for visitors
    • 5 comments were related to parking constraints and increased road traffic
    • 3 comments were about trails and trail use
    • 3 comments were about the need for additional infrastructure at the Preserve including more trash cans, educational signage, and cell phone service
    • 1 comment was in regards to having no biking at the Preserve
    • 1 comment asked about adding accessible features to the Preserve
    • 2 comments were related to increasing staffing at the Preserve

    Most public comments on the sticky notes focused on staffing at the Preserve, the new dog regulations at the Preserve, and on the overall goals for the Preserve. 31 total sticky notes were added to the six (6) informational boards.

    Combined Comments from written sticky notes:

    • 10 notes commented on the need to increase staffing at the Preserve. Concerns were related to current staff spending significant time cleaning up after dogs, and increasing staff numbers in general to have time to focus on main goals of the Preserve (water quality).
    • 7 notes commented on the new dog regulations, and the need for more research before new rules are enforced.
    • 2 commented that they were in favor of the new dog regulations
    • 5 commented that they were unhappy with the new dog regulations, or wanted additional options other than 1 dog per person, on leash at all times
    • 5 notes commented on what were the most important goals for the Preserve? Water quality or recreation/dog walking?
    • 3 notes commented on signage at the Preserve: 2 commented to have additional signage at entrance educating visitors about parks/natural areas nearby that allowed dogs. 1 commented that additional signage was not necessary.
    • 2 notes commented on the presence of dog poop at the Preserve
    • 2 notes commented on the Survey #1 questions and analysis
    • 1 note commented on gladly paying for a pass to visit the Preserve
    • 1 note commented on what additional accessible recreation could be at the Preserve
    • 1 note commented that the staff have kept the outhouses clean

    Visit the Relevant Links and Documents widget for copies of comments on the informational boards from this meeting.

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  • Longmont drafting Button Rock Preserve plan to protect water quality amid booming visitation

    3 months ago

    Read an article published on April 9, 2019, in the Longmont TimesCall introducing the Caring for Button Rock Preserve effort.

    https://www.timescall.com/2019/04/09/longmont-drafting-button-rock-preserve-plan-to-protect-water-quality-amid-booming-visitation/

    Read an article published on April 9, 2019, in the Longmont TimesCall introducing the Caring for Button Rock Preserve effort.

    https://www.timescall.com/2019/04/09/longmont-drafting-button-rock-preserve-plan-to-protect-water-quality-amid-booming-visitation/