Take action!

In October 2020, almost no one knew about this project. By early March, Boulder County and other organizations had been flooded with emails and calls, Denver television channels were covering the story, and the local newspapers were filled with letters to the editor, opinion pieces, articles, and in-depth investigations. This happened because many people took action.

 Please keep the pressure on!

  • Boulder County must acknowledge the perpetual conservation easement on Rainbow Nursery Open Space!

  • Boulder County government must be accountable for the pain it inflicted on our community.

  • Boulder County must reform. No more obscure boards, committees, subcommittees, commissions, or anything else that flies below the radar. We demand transparency. 

Please keep showing up!

A common accusation is that we don't pay attention until the government does something we don't like and then we complain about secrecy. Many of us have attended meetings where we're prevented from speaking or asking questions. We have to let Boulder County know that whether or not they let us speak, we are watching.

Boulder County Commissioners: my understanding is that the public does not have a forum to speak except about agenda items (which we can't introduce). Please challenge the commissioners (contact info below) to provide opportunities for the public to raise issues that concern us, not just them! In the meantime, please sign up for agendas, etc., here: https://www.bouldercounty.org/government/elected-officials/commissioners/

Here are past and upcoming meetings, including videos and agendas: 

https://bouldercountyco.iqm2.com/Citizens/calendar.aspx

RCAB (Resource Conservation Advisory Board): if you haven't read Yellow Scene's article about RCAB, please do! (Media) This is the group most of us never knew existed. We have to keep an eye on this (unelected, unrecorded) group that's spending millions of our tax dollars!

4th Wednesday of every month from 4:45 - 6:30 pm. 

https://www.bouldercounty.org/government/boards-and-commissions/rescource-conservation-advisory-board/

Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee: "The Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC) reviews proposals and advises Parks & Open Space staff and the County Commissioners on open space issues, new land acquisitions, and the management of existing properties." POSAC has done great things and really not great things. Please attend and if anything sounds off, challenge it!

4th Thursday of each month starting at 6:30

​https://www.bouldercounty.org/government/boards-and-commissions/parks-and-open-space-advisory-committee/

Town of Erie: "The Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC) reviews proposals and advises Parks & Open Space staff and the County Commissioners on open space issues, new land acquisitions, and the management of existing properties." POSAC has done great things and really not great things. Please attend and if anything sounds off, challenge it!

4th Thursday of each month starting at 6:30

​https://www.bouldercounty.org/government/boards-and-commissions/parks-and-open-space-advisory-committee/

Suggested contacts

Conservation easement

Open Space

Commissioners

mjones@bouldercounty.org

303.666.7032

clevy@bouldercounty.org

720.849.8983

mloachamin@bouldercounty.org

720.323.5089

Real estate Division Manager

Janis Whisman

jwhisman@bouldercounty.org

303-678-6263

Parks and Open Space Director

Eric Lane

elane@bouldercounty.org

303-678-6278

County administrator

Jana Petersen

jpetersen@bouldercounty.org

303-441-3525

If you prefer to write to all three commissioners at once, you can use this form. The website says, "Filling out the form helps us to track and respond to emails." Let's flood them with emails for the public record! 

https://www.bouldercounty.org/government/elected-officials/commissioners/contact-the-commissioners/

Dear

 

The Rainbow Nursery property is classified as Agricultural Lands of National Importance, hosts forty acres of trees and wetlands and is an integral part of a wildlife and riparian corridor. Boulder County promised to protect this property forever by paying a former landowner for a conservation easement on this property in 1994 using designated Open Space funds.

 

By claiming it extinguished the conservation easement upon purchasing the property, Boulder County is breaking its promise to the people of Boulder County to protect this property pursuant to the terms of the conservation easement. Boulder County must acknowledge the perpetual conservation easement on Rainbow Nursery Open Space. ​

Finally, it is the responsibility of Parks and Open Space to maintain Rainbow Nursery Open Space. Please maintain it as you are required to. As $1,152,000 of Open Space funds was spent on the conservation easement and the property, Rainbow deserves your respect. 

Sincerely,

Dear (Commissioner, Ms Whisman, Mr Lane)

Please honor your commitment to Boulder County taxpayers and PROTECT OPEN SPACE! 

1. Acknowledge the PERPETUAL Conservation Easement on Rainbow Open Space

2. Direct Staff never to consider proposals for the development of protected Open Space lands

3. Reject the Doctrine of Merger as a loophole for destroying the integrity of Conservation Easements

 

Please restore public trust in Open Space and reject ALL efforts to develop lands purchased with Open Space tax revenues intended for conservation.

Sincerely,

OSCAR

Office of Sustainability, Climate Action, and Resilience 

Susie Strife, Department Head

sstrife@bouldercounty.org

303-441-4565

Tim Broderick, Senior Sustainability Strategist

tbroderick@bouldercounty.org

720-564-2238

Per BoCo's website: "Susie leads the county’s Office of Sustainability, Climate Action & Resilience, providing direction on policies and program implementation for internal and external sustainability activities while managing planning efforts and budgets." Susie spoke at the meeting to withdraw the application, wherein she said a number of things that were simply not true. Susie has been one of the primary drivers of the project but has somehow stayed above the fray. She will not engage with me on phone or email. It's way past time that she is held accountable for this. 

Tim Broderick "is responsible for the implementation and updating of Boulder County’s Zero Waste Action Plan and works on a regional and state level to help shape zero waste policy and planning. He is the county liaison to the Resource Conservation Advisory Board which advises the commissioners on major waste diversion policies and strategies. Tim partners with Boulder County’s Resource Conservation Division on county funded studies, reports, and grant research." As you can imagine, his name came up in our very expensive public records quite a lot. 

Dear Susie and Tim,

By now it has probably become clear that you have caused many people great distress and fear with your ill-advised plan for Rainbow Nursery Open Space. Please direct me to the scientific studies showing that it made sense to tear down carbon-sequestering trees, lay tons of carbon-emitting concrete, destroy the quality of life for thousands of local residents, kill people on 287, destroy wildlife habitat, shake the public's trust in its government, and more, in order to save on greenhouse gas emissions by trucking in waste from Ft Collins and Parker. (Did you take into account that we are rapidly moving toward electric vehicles?) I do not seem to be able to find those studies.

[For Erie residents or anyone who does business in Erie: Susie, it's true, as you said, that "Erie can be pretty loud." We are much louder when we have been deceived and disregarded.]

I would like for you to put all your considerable influence behind compelling the County to acknowledge the perpetual conservation easement on Rainbow Nursery Open Space. Also, please know that Boulder County residents will be watching future "sustainability" projects to ensure that people with science backgrounds, not industry representatives, are at the helm. I will also be watching what happens to our open space. 

Sincerely,

Eco-Cycle

303-444-6634

recycle@ecocycle.org

Suzanne Jones, executive director

Dan Matsch, composting manager (or something)

Judith Wong, board president

Dan Benavidez, board vice president

Ian Jacobson, board treasurer (president of Eco-Products, which endorses the project)

Pat Shanks, board secretary (and co-chair of PLAN Boulder, group advocating for the composting facility at Rainbow)

Steve Bushong, board member

Crystal Gray, board member ("currently serves on the Sierra Club Indian Peaks Group Executive Board" - the IPG bizarrely endorses the project)

Catherine Greener, board member

KJ McCorry, board member

Evidently Suzanne Jones and Dan Matsch have shut down their mailboxes. It seems that they can turn our lives upside down and abuse the public trust but we can't talk to them about it. If anyone finds an email address or phone number for either or both, please let me know and I'll add it. In the meantime, please write "Please forward to Suzanne Jones, Dan Matsch, and the Board of Directors" in the subject line. Also note that several employees of Eco-Cycle are related - the Matsches and the Briggs' are family. I find that concerning. 

Dear Suzanne and Dan,

I am writing to ask some questions: 

Suzanne: 

  • How did you obtain governmental authority to direct how our sustainability taxes were spent?

  • Do you feel that there was a conflict of interest when you were the executive director of a nonprofit heavily reliant on Boulder County funds; the mayor of Boulder; the sister of a commissioner who would vote on the project; and there was another Eco-Cycle member on the RCAB board? 

  • Were you aware when you were driving this project that people's lives as well as wildlife habitat were at stake?

  • Do you live anywhere near Rainbow?

  • Why doesn't your email address work anymore?

  • Please ask Boulder County to acknowledge the perpetual conservation easement on Rainbow Nursery Open Space. 

Dan:

  • Why have you equivocated about sewage sludge ("biosolids") when there is extensive documentation showing that sewage sludge was part of the plan all along?

  • Why would you build a Class III facility if you didn't intend to accept sewage sludge? 

  • In July 2020, you said on KGNU, "The current status is that there is a site, there is a fund to cover the capital costs of that facility, which is covered by Boulder County Sustainability Tax Fund that helps with sustainability infrastructure. The timeline right now is that it will open in late 2021 or early 2022. What we’re planning to do is tweak the financials of this facility so that we can make a certain amount of compost available to local farmers who agree to be compost farmers.” Who is the "we" spending our taxes? Did you have any qualms about saying this on the radio when Rainbow's direct neighbors had no idea this was happening? Who were the local farmers you'd planned to use this compost? Why is McCauley, a certified organic farm, endorsing a industrial composting facility that will manufacture pollution?

  • Why are you on RCAB as representing the Town of Lyons when you are overtly representing Eco-Cycle? And why are there at least two employees of Eco-Cycle on RCAB when there should only be one per the by-laws?

  • Please ask Boulder County to acknowledge the perpetual conservation easement on Rainbow Nursery Open Space. 

Sincerely,