On February 17, 2021, Douglas Land Conservancy (DLC) and Douglas County partnered to protect 2,558 acres with perpetual conservation easements on two Douglas County open space properties. Sandstone Ranch (2,038 acres) and the Schmidt Construction Open Space (520 acres) were both acquired by Douglas County in cooperation with the Chatfield Reservoir Mitigation Company to provide mitigation for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse as part of the Chatfield Storage Reallocation Project. The purchase of Sandstone Ranch was also completed with funding from Great Outdoors Colorado.
Sandstone Ranch is a historic cattle ranch located near Perry Park on the west side of Highway 105 and is open to the public with new trails and a trailhead constructed by the County. More trails and other public recreation opportunities are planned for Sandstone in the future, including guided hikes led by DLC. A large portion of the riparian areas of Sandstone are protected by a mitigation plan for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Schmidt Construction Open Space is located near West Jackson Creek Road and the Pike National Forest boundary. The County plans to construct trails on the property in the future, and the property will be open to the public. The Schmidt property also includes areas protected by a mitigation plan for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse.