GOCO awards $1 million to Pitkin, Eagle County open space purchase
Great Outdoors Colorado has awarded $1 million toward the $5.9 million purchase of the Glassier Ranch — a joint open space acquisition by Pitkin and Eagle counties.
The GOCO Board of Trustees met Tuesday in Adams County to consider grant requests. GOCO distributes state lottery proceeds for projects that preserve, protect and enhance Colorado’s wildlife, park, river, trail and open space heritage.
The Pitkin County Open Space and Trails program last summer entered into a contract to purchase the historic, 137-acre Fred L. and Freida L. Glassier Ranch in the Emma area. Pitkin and Eagle counties agreed to split the purchase price and seek a GOCO grant. Pitkin County will own the property outright while Eagle County will hold a conservation easement on the parcel.
The Glassier property includes significant water rights in the Home Supply Ditch and 9 acres fronting the Roaring Fork River, as well as a historic, Victorian farmhouse. In addition, it abuts Red Ridge Ranch, previously acquired in partnership by the two counties. Combined, the two ranches create a 282-acre swath stretching from the Roaring Fork River up onto the slopes of the Crown.
Next year, Pitkin County will convene a steering committee to plan the long-term management of both ranches, which together contain about 140 irrigated acres in the fertile midvalley. The Red Ridge and Glassier lands offer a diversity of habitat, cultural, agricultural and recreational opportunities.
Although no cases of pertussis (“whooping cough”) have yet been diagnosed in Pitkin County in 2013, the highly contagious disease is spreading and has been found as close as neighboring Garfield County. Local public health officials are urging people who have contact with children, especially under the age of 12 months, to make sure their immunizations against the disease are up-to-date.
The Colorado Department of Public Health reports that in the first 10 months of 2013, 1,116 cases of pertussis were reported and continue to rise. The 1,494 cases in 2012 made it the state’s worst year for whooping cough, surpassing the 1,383 cases in 2005.
Pertussis is a bacterial infection of the respiratory tract that spreads easily through the air in droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes and even through talking. The illness often starts with cold-like symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose, low-grade fever and a mild cough. The cough becomes more severe during the first week or two, and often is characterized by episodes of rapid coughs (coughing fits), followed by a high-pitched inhale that sounds like a “whoop.” The cough may last for a couple of months and is more frequent at night. More than half infected infants need to be hospitalized and are at risk for further complications, including pneumonia, seizures, and apnea. In adults and adolescents, the disease is milder but can result in lost work and school days.
The vaccine for pertussis is given in combination with diphtheria and tetanus. Immunization authorities routinely recommend that five doses of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccine be given at two, four, six, 15 to 18 months of age, and between four and six years of age and a single dose of Tdap be administered at 11-12 years of age.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that one in 100 infants who contract pertussis dies.
Vaccines are now available by appointment at Community Health Services in Aspen, located in the Schultz Health and Human Services building across from Aspen Valley Hospital on Castle Creek Road. Cost is $20. Call 920-5420 to make an appointment.