City of Steamboat Springs Wins Colorado Lottery Conservation Starburst Award

 

DENVER – The Colorado Lottery announced today that it has awarded the City of Steamboat Springs the 2007 Starburst Conservation Award for excellence in the acquisition of a key open space property. The Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area used more than $563,000 million in Lottery funds to help pay for the $1.24 million project.

 

The City of Steamboat Springs used Lottery funds to acquire and place a conservation easement on the LaFarge property, a 103 acre property which encompasses a portion of the Yampa River within the urban boundaries of Steamboat Springs. As part of the acquisition process, the City worked with the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) to develop an agreement where the City maintains ownership of the property while the DOW manages the property as part of the adjacent Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area. In effect, the project protected open space, provided legal access to the Yampa River, and added 103 acres of critical river and riparian habitat to the state wildlife area.

 

The City of Steamboat Springs received a $200,000 Lottery funded Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Open Space grant to assist with the property acquisition. And, the DOW allocated $363,000 in GOCO Legacy Project funding to the project. GOCO receives up to half of Lottery proceeds. GOCO’s mission is to preserve, protect, enhance and manage the state’s wildlife, park, river, trail and open space heritage.

 

“This is what GOCO money is intended for,” said Tom Kitts, Deputy Director of the Colorado Lottery. “It’s just a great project.”

 

The Colorado Lottery Starburst Awards recognize excellence in the use of Lottery proceeds for projects that promote community-building, partnership, conservation and commitment to the recreational needs of Colorado residents.  They were judged by Lottery management, the Colorado Lottery Commission and a representative of the more than 2,900 retailers who sell Lottery tickets.

 

Proceeds from the Colorado Lottery’s games - Scratch, Lotto, Powerball and Cash 5 - stay in Colorado to improve the quality of life in the state. In Fiscal Year 2007, more than $117 million was returned to Colorado. Since the Lottery started in 1983, more than $1.9 billion has been returned to the state.

 

Lottery proceeds are distributed to three primary beneficiaries: Great Outdoors Colorado, Conservation Trust Fund and Colorado State Parks. These organizations then provide grants and direct funding for parks, recreation, open space acquisition, trails, wildlife and conservation education.

 

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September 11, 2007
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