the Colaborative Inc

Clear Creek County Economic Study

Client: County of Clear Creek

Site: Clear Creek County, Colorado

Clear Creek County shares a significant feature with many of the other mountain counties in Colorado; the vast majority of its lands are owned by the federal government, a high proportion being under the jurisdiction of the United States Forest Service. With this large percentage of an important key resource under the jurisdiction of one agency, County Commissioners felt it advantageous to better understand how the U.S. Forest Service makes its decisions. This was especially important for land use, the criteria applied to awarding special permits within the forests, and engendering future cooperation. The Commissioners wanted to develop the tourism economy to replace mineral resource extractions, which while indicated as the key industry on tax roles, were in fact in rapid decline. Twenty implementation action recommendations were made, and three Clear Creek County sites were discussed in detail: Camp Wilaha, Berthoud Pass, and St. Mary’s Glacier. Discussions included opportunities and constraints, development potential, and U.S. Forest Service considerations.