Douglas Mountain Plateau Update January 2021

The plateau will be forever preserved as wildlife habitat!!!!

We are so excited to share this fabulous news regarding the Douglas Mountain Plateau in Empire, CO!  The below information is from Mountain Area Land Trust, MALT, who has been working with state and local agencies to help secure the plateaus preservation for the generations to come.  Please join us in celebrating this HUGE win and help us attain our committed financial goal of $20,000.00. Contributions can be made through our Friends of Clear Creek website DONATE page, or via mail payable to Friends of Clear Creek. P.O. Box 8 Empire, CO. 80438.  All donations are tax deductible. 

From MALT:

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) will move into negotiations on the Empire plateau project beginning January 2021. Full funding from them was approved (out of 27 projects and over $45 million requested, only $11 million was funded). Our requested and approved amount was $2,845,621. Funding has also been secured from Clear Creek County Open Space for $200,000, Friends of Clear Creek have pledged $20,000 and the remaining amount will need to come from a Great Outdoors Colorado grant submission for $500,000 in the 1st quarter of 2021. Securing the CPW approval was a major hurdle. This project will provide a key connection for the Bighorn sheep herd between Empire and Georgetown by protecting and preserving their migratory route.

Jeanne M. Beaudry

Executive Director

Mountain Area Land Trust


The contribution of $20,000.00 from Friends of Clear Creek to this project is required matching funds for receiving state grant funding, so our contribution is vital to the success of the purchase of the plateau.


In April of 2018, an application for a mining permit from Douglas Mountain Ranch Mining Project was submitted to the State of Colorado. That was the beginning of our journey. A small group of like-minded residents, mostly from Empire and all from Clear Creek County, came together to oppose the gravel pit. You can follow that process on our page WE DEFEATED THE GRAVEL PIT. But it was more than just opposing a gravel pit. We realized how important, unique, and special the Douglas Mountain Plateau is to this area and to the wildlife that is one of our top priorities and attractions for this county. We formed a community group and worked tirelessly to bring awareness about the plateau and how detrimental the gravel pit would be. We rallied state-wide support for a letter writing campaign that ultimately led to the mining application being withdrawn in October of 2019.


During that time, we transformed from a small community group to a thriving non-profit organization. We owe much of our early success to one of our founding members and visionary, Hans Berg. His passion for the environment and spirit of adventure inspired the formation of the group and he led the charge until his untimely death in March of 2019. Sadly, he was not there to celebrate the defeat of the gravel pit or to witness the purchase of the plateau that was so near and dear to his heart. We honor our friend and founder at BE LIKE HANS. Donations for the purchase of the plateau can be made in honor of Hans Berg.

MAY 15TH 2020

We are very excited to announce an opportunity for the purchase and preservation of 123 acres of the Douglas Mountain Plateau!!. Working in coordination with local and State agencies there is the potential for the purchase and full land preservation of the plateau by Colorado Parks and Wildlife!!


We need your help to show unity and commitment to the pursuit of this endeavor!!! This is very time sensitive and in need of your support immediately. Please read the letter below, and if you agree with the opportunity presented simply click here to email us with your name, mailing address, and email. Your information will be added to the letter that will be submitted to Colorado Parks and Wildlife by Friends of Clear Creek this Friday, May 15th. This letter is part of a grant application that has a deadline of May 19th, 2020. (rest assured your personal information will not be shared for other purposes).


Friends of Clear Creek

P.O. Box 8

Empire, CO. 80438


May 15, 2020


Amanda Nims

Manager, Colorado Wildlife Habitat Protection Program

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

6060 N. Broadway

Denver, CO 80216


Dear Ms. Nims and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Leadership Team,


Friends of Clear Creek (FoCC) is a non-profit organization established by a group of engaged citizens from the communities of Clear Creek County Colorado, who respect and protect the air, water, natural landscape, wildlife, and quality of life for all who reside in and visit our beautiful county.  We as an organization worked diligently for a one and a half years to defeat a potential strip-mining development on the Douglas Mountain plateau.  Our hearts desire is for this plateau to be maintained in its natural, pristine condition. 

The Douglas Mountain Ranch Plateau is the only natural, accessible, and undeveloped alluvial plateau in Clear Creek County, making it a key location for migrating Bighorn Sheep, wintering Elk, and nesting Peregrine falcons. It is a unique geological feature, unspoiled by development, that supports many wildlife species and therefore, should be protected. The plateau is adjacent to the Georgetown State Wildlife Area and the quaint mountain town of Empire in the heart of Clear Creek County. Our goal is to preserve the Douglas Mountain Ranch Plateau as an expansion of the Georgetown State Wildlife Area; a place where wildlife will continue to thrive.

The property is highly visible from US Highway 40 and the Town of Empire.  Conservation of the property would protect these scenic views for both residents and visitors to the area and allow for excellent wildlife viewing for generations to come without negatively impacting the incredible wildlife that call this property home.

In addition to the unique geological and ecological features of the property, the West Fork of Clear Creek provides recreation opportunities for the public without impacting the Bighorn Sheep migration corridor.  A proposed trail would connect the Town of Empire to the Clear Creek Greenway Trail and provide access to the creek for fishing. 

The Fee Title acquisition of the Douglas Mountain Ranch and Preserve is a once in a lifetime opportunity to expand the Georgetown State Wildlife Area and protect the State’s most iconic and prominent herd of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.  As such, we are committed to working with other local agencies in raising matching funds for the acquisition and permanent protection of this critical property.

We sincerely thank you for taking the steps forward to protect this plateau and its wildlife for the generations to come.  We look forward to working beside you on this endeavor. 




All the Friends of Clear Creek