Summit Land Conservancy has officially secured $8.7 million in federal dollars to save the 158-acre Osguthorpe Farm on Old Ranch Road. Because of the extremely high property values in the area, more funding will be needed. The federal dollars must be matched by local funding. The family has made a substantial contribution toward that match. The Conservancy is now working to find $5.6 million to complete the transaction.
The Osguthorpe Farm on Old Ranch Road is recognizable as the large irrigated property on the north side of road. It’s visible from the adjacent Willow Creek Park, the ski resorts, and Round Valley. The property has been designated as a “Heritage Amenity” in the Snyderville Basin General Plan, and is the last ranch standing on Old Ranch Road.
The Osguthorpe family has called Park City home since the 1940’s and has run a successful sheep ranching operation where they continue to grow alfalfa and oats. Their sheep business, also known as Red Pine Livestock Company, is known for using the highest standards regarding animal welfare, responsible land management, and providing quality products. Steve Osguthorpe began herding at the age of 12, and learned conservation values that his father “Doc” instilled in him at a young age. In 2011, The Osguthorpe family received the Sand County Foundation’s ‘Leopold Conservation Award‘ which recognizes agricultural landowners actively committed to a land ethic.
“Houses are the last crop” — Steve Osguthorpe
The federal funding to save the farm on Old Ranch Road comes from a Farm Bill program established to protect the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing the development of productive working lands like the Osguthorpe Farm. Land protected by agricultural land easements provides additional public benefits including environmental quality, historic preservation, wildlife habitat and the protection of open space.
Local public policy supports saving the farm and clearly states in the Snyderville Basin General Plan:
–“It is important to recognize the open, equestrian, and agricultural way of life in order to maintain the mountain-ranching feeling. Preservation and enhancement of the existing natural resources is an important aspect of this neighborhood.”
–This property is identified in the Future Land Use Map as a “Heritage Amenity.”
Chapter 5 of the General Plan specifically addresses the protection of agricultural lands by stating:
Policy 5.1: Recognize agricultural operations as a significant and important use of the land and protect the rights of those uses.
Policy 5.2: A survey should be conducted to identify heritage amenities. Identified amenities should be of high priority for preservation through relocation, adaptive reuse, preservation in place, facade easements, conservation easements, or other methods.
Policy 5.3: Heritage Amenities and Cultural Arts Plan: Adopt a comprehensive Heritage Amenities and Cultural Arts Plan (the “Heritage Plan”) in the Basin. This Heritage Plan should provide specific provisions for the type, amount, and manner in which public art of heritage preservation will be incorporated into a development project, or cash-in-lieu contribution to public art in the Basin.
Policy 5.4: Heritage Preservation – Incentives: The County should consider appropriate incentives to property owners for the purposes of preserving heritage amenities.
Osguthorpe Farm offers multiple open space benefits to the community:
- The parcel is suitable for passive uses, both recreational and aesthetic.
- There are opportunities to provide public trailheads and new recreational trails.
- The parcel has high value for critical trail connections.
- The open space is contiguous to already preserved open space, and will contribute to or enhance existing, already preserved open space.
- Acquisition of the parcel will NOT require the further acquisition of other parcels to create contiguous open space.
- The parcel will protect prominent or critical viewsheds.
- The parcel contains agricultural, historical or cultural heritage components the County would like to preserve.
- The parcel supports wildlife corridors and/or habitat, threatened, endangered or sensitive flora and fauna.
- The parcel supports watershed protection and/or wetland values.
- The property has near‐term development potential/feasibility (zoning/density, physical constraints, market demand, transportation, etc.).
- The parcel is consistent with open space parameters and areas shown in the current General Plan.
- The owner is a willing seller w/realistic value expectations and an acceptable timeline.
- Preserving the parcel removes entitled density.
- There are opportunities to leverage public or private monies and/or involve donations of private lands to the public.
- There is a landowner donation toward stewardship and/or donation toward the value of the land or easement.
What YOU can do to help save the Last Ranch on Old Ranch Road:
- Your voice matters. Email your County Council members and let them know you want to see Osguthorpe Farm saved from development: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Make a pledge to save Osguthorpe Farm. For gifts larger than $5,000, please contact Cheryl Fox at email@example.com or 435-649-0220.
- Make a donation to save Osguthorpe Farm:
*The Summit Land Conservancy is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and all donations are deductible to the extent allowed by law. In the extremely unfortunate occurrence that the Osguthorpe Farm project is not completed, please contact us about a refund of your donation.