Jefferson County open space officials have closed on 1,192 acres as part of a conservation mission that's also expected to broaden future recreation opportunities in the foothills west of Denver.

The acquisition was recently announced following approval by county commissioners in November. The Goltra property, as it's been referred to, is adjacent to a trio of preserves near Golden: Mount Galbraith, Clear Creek Canyon and Centennial Cone parks.

“To have something connecting three parks contiguously, that would allow someone to go for a hike or ride upwards of 20 miles, 30 miles, that would be a very different experience right outside the metropolitan area," Jeffco Open Space spokesman Matt Robbins previously told The Gazette.

The land came through a complex exchange agreed upon more than a year ago.

For purchasing and conveying the Goltra property, Martin Marietta Materials is receiving 64 acres of Jeffco Open Space land near Interstate 70 and U.S. 40, where the company can expand its stone quarry. In addition to the Goltra property, the company will preserve 84 acres near the old Heritage Square theme park, including the historic Bachman Farm and alpine slide. Once all transactions are complete, Martin Marietta is to pay Jeffco Open Space $150,000 for 30 years. 

In a news release, Jeffco Open Space Director Tom Hoby noted the acreage is more than double the amount received in a previous deal with the mine owner. In 2004, that resulted in 522 acres along the popular North Table Mountain Park.

Goltra's 1,192 acres are now in "study area status" and closed to the public, the release said. "During this period, the property will be inventoried, assessed and management plans will be developed."

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