The property, located in the city’s southwest foothills, borders Cheyenne Mountain State Park to the south, the Broadmoor Bluffs neighborhood to the east and the Pike National Forest to the west.
The 2014 Park System Master Plan identified this area as a valuable candidate property for the City’s open space system.
Cost and funding
This property is partially funded by revenues from the TOPS sales tax.
- Estimated $4.2 million purchase would be made with funds from the TOPS
- The Conservation Fund
In addition, the fire mitigation work warrants added protective measures for the safety and well-being of the public wishing to access the property. The nature of the work is extremely hazardous.
The City of Colorado Springs is committed to providing public access to the beautiful open space as soon as possible. Until such a time that a trail system, trailhead, and management plan is established, the property will remain closed to public access.
Future Master and Management Plan
With the commitment to provide public access as soon as possible, the City will advance the Fishers Canyon Master and Management Plan process in the summer of 2023 with anticipated public access by 2024. This planning effort will include a community engagement process that looks at the future open space development and management of the property over the next 10 to 15 years. The master and management plan process is anticipated to take 8-12 months.
Announcements will be posted on this webpage, through City social media posts and new releases. Check back often for updates.
Fire mitigation reduces wildfire risk to surrounding neighborhoods and public property, protects critical infrastructure, prevents post-storm erosion, and conserves wildlife habitat and recreation resources. Thanks to voter approved ballot issue 2D in the November 2021 election, which allowed the City to retain $20 million in excess tax revenue to fund fire mitigation projects, Fishers Canyon will become the first large-scale opportunity for mitigation.
The $506,000 project, that allows for 89.3 acres of mitigation, also received $100,000 from the Trails, Open Space, and Parks sales tax program and $30,000 from Colorado Springs Utilities. This unique opportunity will holistically treat the densely populated mixed conifer landscape and has the potential to steward a healthy and fire resilient forest for up to 25 years. Mastication, chipping, harvesting, loading, and hauling will be completed as a collaborative effort between Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services, the Colorado Springs Fire Department, City Forestry, and Miller Timber of the Pacific Northwest. Work is expected to begin on Tuesday, Dec. 6 and will go through the end of February, weather permitting.
Fishers Canyon Wildfire Mitigation Project Powerpoint
Visit ColoradoSprings.gov/WildfireMitigationAdvisoryCommittee to learn more about the city-wide and Pikes Peak region wildfire mitigation, prevention, and evacuation planning program and its associated efforts.
More about TOPS
TOPS is a 0.01 percent sales tax first approved by voters in 1997 that generates approximately $9.5 million annually. It is used exclusively to preserve and steward open space lands, trails and parks.
In recent years, TOPS has generated approximately $9.5 million annually. From those funds, between $3-3.5 million a year is set aside specifically for acquiring open space. The open space category also funds maintenance and operation of existing open space properties. Some years, there are not properties available to purchase, allowing the acquisition funds to accumulate for future opportunities.
The city owns more than 6,700 acres of TOPS property, including Bluestem Prairie, Corral Bluffs, High Chaparral, Red Rock Canyon, Stratton and Union Meadows open spaces. TOPS funding has also contributed to more than 50 of the city’s parks, trails and open spaces.
The purchase follows City Council’s unanimous approval in June as well as recommendations made in May by the Parks Advisory Board and the TOPS Working Committee.
David Deitemeyer, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services David.firstname.lastname@example.org
Cory Ashby, Wildfire Mitigation, Colorado Springs Fire Department