News Archives

Below are home page articles published on the website.  Most recent articles are at the top.  Older articles at the bottom and on previous pages.  CLICK HERE if you wish to let us know about news you’d like published on the website.


Updates on the 5th and 20th

Posted By: Tom : March 20, 2018 6:00 AM

Burn Pit Status

You may have noticed that the burn pit is still full and has not yet been burned this winter.

The decision of when to burn is up to the Hartsel Fire Department which is also who conducts the burn.  The Fire Department has criteria for when they can safely do the burn and with the lack of snow this winter there has not been an opportunity to burn it.  They need snow cover that has sufficient moisture in it, we just have not seen that this year.

This will have a major impact when or if we will be able to open the burn pit this spring and summer. We are hoping for a large spring snow storm so the burn can happen soon.  Even if the burn happened today it will be a month or two before it cools down enough where we can again start dumping into it.

If we do not get a safe opportunity to burn it soon, the burn pit could very likely be closed this summer.  I would suggest we prepare for that to happen. At this time, we do not see the burn pit opening this April as originally planned.

We will update you when we know more but everyone may want to look for other options this summer.

RORA Board of Directors

This year we will have two open Board Members positions on the ballot.  The Board meets the second Saturday of each month to discuss and address any issues going on and take care of general needs of the association.  If you want to have some input and help set direction for the association I would recommend you consider running for the Board.

If you would like to run for a Board of Directors position, please send an email by June 1st, 2018 to to let us know. Include a short bio that we can use in the Summer Newsletter. We welcome your participation and interest.

Ron Rose RORA Pres


Posted By: Suzan : March 11, 2018 6:08 AM

Please be aware that we are in a Countywide Fire Ban.  

This is the link to the Hartsel Fire Department page that tells you of bans, or restrictions.  Website

Be careful out there!

Updates on the 5th and 20th

Posted By: Tom : March 5, 2018 6:00 AM

March 5th Managers Input 

Well its already March and we have not Burned the Burn Pit.  We could really use some snow.  As we come into spring I would like to remind folks about the wild life here on the Ranch and you may start seeing some new born critters around. Please do not feed them it really disrupts their normal diet or even worse they become dependent on the food you provide and then all of the sudden you quit feeding them and they become more aggressive and then Parks and Wild Life guys have to get involved. Please do not feed the Wildlife.

Building on Ranch of the Rockies, there is a lot of houses and garages going up and I would like to thank the folks for submitting the Architectural sign off sheet it is the first step of getting your building permit. I have had some questions regarding the Park County Building requirements as to how big of a house can be built? Park County says 250 sq ft However, Ranch of the Rockies minimum Square Footage is 600 Square Foot which supersedes the Park County Rule.  Outdoor lighting must shine down at a 45 Degree angle and not leave your Property.

What’s new on Ranch of the Rockies? Well as you Drive around you will notice the Board of Directors has been busy helping the Rules Enforcement Committee get some unsightly items removed from various lots. The “Camper left on unimproved lots” issue has gone really well this year. Please Remember that it’s not just a Ranch rule but also a Park County Land Use Regulation.

Need some Volunteers! I plan on doing a lot of clean up and beautification stuff at the Reservoir this year so if you have some free time and would like to help please let me know! I will be Starting the project June 2nd, 2018 at 1pm.

Enjoy the Spring and Enjoy living up here in God’s Country!

John Adams, Ranch Manager

Updates on the 5th and 20th

Posted By: Tom : February 21, 2018 11:23 AM


We have finally gotten some much needed snow in the past two weeks. However, we still need about two to three more feet over the next two to three months.

Since the winter has been mild, we have had time to explore some different places. One of those places is the new, but old, South Park Mercantile which reopened in December. Jim and I took a snowy Saturday morning and visited with Linda Friel the Manager. Referring to the store as the “The Merc,” Linda explained that the store is owned by the South Hartsel Grazing Association, a nonprofit agricultural organization. SHGA President, Chuck Friel and his wife, Linda, were instrumental in the cleanup and reconstruction of the historic building. As Linda explains it, “We really wanted to create a space that the community is proud of, but also serves a purpose.”

At this point, Linda showed me some of the old document books they uncovered in the trash as she and Chuck removed layers of dust and mold to restore the old building. One was a portfolio of bonds and share certificates for The Merc. The other was a book of meeting minutes of the Association dating back to 1917. These are beautifully displayed on the original bar which was salvageable in the restoration. Behind the bar, you will see original cabinetry and a framed room size mirror just like you would see in old 19th century stores and saloons.

(double click to enlarge)


Finally, remember that the SHGA, a non-profic association, has funded the restoration of The Merc as more than a museum. It is actually a store packed with staples and essentials similar to what you might see in a camp store. However, The Merc has so much more including some clothing and small gifts for children, the home, and pets.


See the attached picture for the hours and note that The Merc is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Linda is always glad to greet you, and share a bit local history and her dreams for a restored Hartsel community.


Next stop: We heard that Fairplay has a new restaurant; The Hungry Miner in the former Pizza Hut building! That’s next on our winter adventure list. See you!








Dennis Ann Strong

RORA Secretary


Posted By: Tom : February 14, 2018 10:02 AM

Hi Everyone, Paul Mattson of the South Park Ambulance District has asked if our RORA  members would consider taking a survey to give them feedback to use as they are working on their plans for the future.  He has also provided a few pages of information that may help you in answering the survey questions.  To see that document, click here.  After you have looked at the document, you may take the survey by clicking on the following link:

Thanks for your consideration.


Updates on the 5th and 20th

Posted By: Tom : February 5, 2018 6:00 AM

February 5th Managers Input

Feb 2nd 2018 snow on the Ranch

Where is the snow? As a matter of fact this is normal for Colorado weather as many of you know. I too await the snow fall so that we may burn the Burn Pit.  We still have a lot of Winter to go and we can get some really big snow storms in February and March maybe even out till May. So, hang in there it will be here. It has been brought to my attention that there is a lot of cardboard being put into the trash compactor . Well, I cannot make folks recycle, but I highly recommend that you do, since it cost more money to have a new container brought out than the few minutes it takes to put it in the recycling bin are worth. The door to the compactor has been repaired and I ask you all to please don’t let the Door slam shut this causes the damage to the latch. In the future we will be moving the gate so that you do not have to duck or slip by the door when dumping trash.

Planning on a family reunion this summer? Ever think of reserving the pavilion for it? There are Restrooms and picnic tables already there not to mention a horse shoe pit and a place for a volley ball set up or ring toss. There is a $50.00 reservation fee that is refundable when it is cleaned up and the trash hauled off. The grills down there are owned by the Ranch, so please clean them when you are done.

There are several clubs here on the Ranch and if you want to get out and meet some folks they are a great way of getting out and getting to know your neighbors. For more information please contact the Office.

We live in the Great Southern Mountains of Colorado where there are a lot of attractions close by like Rafting, Hiking, ATV Trails and Walking Trails not to mention the Gold Metal Water fishing areas If you are looking for something to do up here there is plenty of Information at the Office.

Have a Safe and Happy Winter,

John Adams

Ranch Manager

Special Meeting of the Board of Directors

Posted By: Suzan : January 25, 2018 4:47 PM

The RORA Board of Directors will be holding a Special Board Meeting on Friday February 9th at 9am in the RORA Office. 

The agenda for this Special Meeting is to review and update two of our Governing Documents, the Bylaws and Policy and Procedures.

This is something that the Board normally does every year to insure the documents are still current and correct.  

This effort usually takes a few hours to do and the Board did not what to take up time during the normal monthly meetings.

As all Board meetings are, the membership is welcome to attend the meeting.

Ron Rose
President of the Board

Updates on the 5th and the 20th

Posted By: Tom : January 20, 2018 6:00 AM

Treasurer’s January Website Article In the January newsletter I wrote about the new requirement from the Colorado legislature for an annual budget meeting. This comes from Colorado Statute 38-33.3-303 (4) (a) and it refers to the executive board passing an annual budget and then having a meeting to present the budget and allowing “discussion” regarding the budget. This regulation starts July 1, 2018. It does not make any mention of making changes to the budget as a result of the “discussion”. At first glance, this does not appear to make much sense. Why have a “discussion” and then not make changesa according to the “discussion”? After some thought I think I know why.

Buffalo Creek Reservoir

The executive board should be, and in the example of our board is, knowledgeable of the requirements of first and foremost, the declarations and bylaws of the HOA corporation and second, changes made by the legislature in HOA regulations. It is a balancing act to effectively administer between the two. Then you add to the mix, an individual or a group of people who may wish to do something else with funds of the HOA rather than what are the basic requirements first established under the declarations which established the ensuing HOA corporation and its bylaws. According to the original declarations that led to the creation of our 501 (c) HOA corporation and its bylaws, the primary task is to protect the water rights that allow us to have wells on our individual lots. 

Colorado water law is different than every other state in the Union. It is based upon prior use of water and not on riparian (proximity to water) rights. This legal concept is what allows those with more senior (first come, first served) rights to have those with lesser (junior) rights to forego their use of certain waters. To compensate for this usually temporary loss of water, those with junior rights that are tied to their groundwater wells are allowed to have some water “in the bank” in the form of an augmentation plan that refers to a reservoir with water in storage released from the reservoir to flow to those with more senior rights. Our Buffalo Creek Reservoir is our “water bank”. The water rights we have are administered in the water court in Greeley and our water rights requires our reservoir to have a liner along the bottom to precisely contain our water against leakage into the ground for purposes of accurate metering the volume of water we are allowed to capture and store in our water bank. 

This liner was installed back in 1987 and has a service life. We are already beyond its service life. One of the reasons the liner has lasted this long is because we have taken good care of it by not allowing fishing in waders, boating or swimming. We did have a problem back in the late 90’s when a tear was discovered due to an issue with ice. Fortunately we had the funds to repair it. The annual dues were also increased at that time from $90 to $110 per lot so that we could then prepare for the eventual replacement or continued patching of the existing liner if patching is possible. 

Replacing the liner will not be cheap and will eventually have to be done. Depending on how the water court allows us to replace the liner, current estimate costs run from a low of $500,000 to $3,000,000! We now have funds closing in on the $500,000 end of replacement cost in CD’s and liquid savings. In the event we are required to go with the $3,000,000 end, we would have to come up with a one-time assessment of about $1,666 per lot; and that includes the funds on hand making up the difference on the $3,000,000 total.

I hope this short lesson in Colorado water law, HOA regulations and the primary purpose of our Ranch of the Rockies Association provides an understanding of why we have funds which we are continuing to grow that cannot be spent on other things we might like to have. We will have a discussion on our next year’s budget after July 1, but please understand we do not have room to undertake other major tasks and wishes.

Dave Loring, RORA Treasurer

Updates on the 5th and 20th

Posted By: Tom : January 5, 2018 6:27 AM

January 5th 2018 Managers Input

Happy New Year Ranch of the Rockies as we welcome in the new year I would like to reflect on 2017. We welcomed in some new Board members and we managed to get almost all the campers off vacant lots there is still a couple that are in denial but we are working on them. The Burn Pit is the fullest it has ever been and that’s a big accomplishment. Fire mitigations still have a long way to go but every little bit helps. With all the work put in at the Reservoir we managed to keep it full the entire year.  Road and Bridge has been really good to us this year and our roads are in great shape. Hartsel Fire held an Open House at station #3 and we picked up two more Volunteer Fire Fighters and we now have an Assistant Fire Chief. Properties have been moving and houses are being built all over the Ranch. The Board of Directors voted on having the Carpet replaced in the Ranch House with Vinyl Flooring and it looks Great. we have a new Cardboard Recycling Trailer that is a blessing and I believe we are recycling more cardboard than ever. The Two Times we had the Open Top Dumpsters they were both filled to maximum capacity unfortunately we lost the scrap metal guy . 

As we welcome in the New Year I look Forward to working here another year and meeting New People that move on to the Ranch. One of the things I Would like to get done this year will be at the Reservoir and some new signs put up. I will be cleaning  the Fishing spots around the Reservoir and  I have been asked to find a way to get rid of the Ants on the South side and this has had my attention for a long time Any Suggestions are welcomed Except Poisons I can’t have anything get into the water I will try mowing it down and see if that helps.

Around the Ranch and the common areas have been repairing fence lines and fence rails. As I drive around I stop and pick up trash along the way,  your help with this would be greatly appreciated.  This is a place of beauty and it takes a lot of work to keep it that way.

Welcome 2018 May your Time at Ranch of the Rockies be pleasant and plentiful.

John Adams, RORA Ranch Mgr.

Updates on the 5th and 20th

Posted By: Tom : December 19, 2017 8:18 PM

Updates on the 5th and 20th                           


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Hi Everyone, It has been another busy year here on the Ranch.  I hope you had an opportunity to enjoy the Christmas party on December 9th and I would like to thank Gary Woirhaye and all the folks who helped him for all the hard work in organizing and putting the party together.  I have included a few photos from the party in this article.

The weather has been unusually warm, this year and so I would like to remind everyone to be very careful with fire and to be sure and check the burn status before doing any outdoor activities involving fire.

I am sure that if you have been on Ranch Rd in the last few weeks, you have noticed all the power line construction and I would ask that you drive carefully through the work areas.  The project to install the three phase lines is moving along, thanks in large part to the weather and it looks like they are going to have phase one of the project (to the intersection of Ranch and Sombrero) completed right on schedule.








Tom Wells, RORA VP


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