Table Mountains Conservation Fund 


Supporting the acquisition and preservation of  
North and South Table Mountains  




1. What is Table Mountains Conservation Fund, Inc.?

Table Mountains Conservation Fund (TMCF) is a 501 (C) (3) not for profit Colorado corporation formed as a citizens group in 1998 for the purpose of purchase, preservation and stewardship of North and South Table Mountains as open space lands. TMCF is able to receive tax exempt contributions from individuals and corporations and can apply to foundations for grants.

2. What is the governing structure of Table Mountains Conservation Fund?

A citizen’s board of nine directors working under the organization’s bylaws governs TMCF. The bylaws allow up to 15 board members. Election to the board is at the annual meeting in January. The officers of the board are the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. There are no other voting membership categories. The board of directors has an Advisory Board of prominent citizens. TMCF does maintain a list of contributors, as well as a list of persons who have offered their time and skills for special projects. TMCF does maintain Directors and Officers insurance for the protection of the directors.

3. When does the TMCF board meet?

The board meets monthly on the third Monday at 7:00 p.m.  Send an e-mail on the website form for location of the meeting. 

4. How can I find the names of the officers or board members?

Click here.

5. How can a person be on the board?

Any person who is interested in open space and particularly the preservation of the Table Mountains can approach a board member or write a letter of interest to the board of directors. The board members will do an informal interview and propose the name to the board.

6. Can Table Mountains Conservation Fund take political action to accomplish the goals?

As a 501 (c) (3) organization, TMCF can educate, inform, and can give general support for open space issues and particularly those that impact the Table Mountains. TMCF can neither give political contributions or lobby for specific legislative bills nor give support to specific candidates for political office.   

7. How does TMCF get funds?

TMCF seeks contributions from individuals and local businesses and organizations by mailing appeal letters and through conversations with people at information booths at local community events. Our funds are all voluntary contributions from individuals and interested organizations.

8. What is the relationship between TMCF and Save The Mesas?

Save The Mesas was originally an informal citizens’ group organized to fight the Nike Corporation’s proposal to build a 5,000 employee office and plant complex on South Table Mountain in 1998. Subsequently, Save The Mesas organized as a 501 (C) (4) not for profit Colorado corporation that can take political actions to preserve the Table Mountains. Contributions to Save The Mesas are not tax-deductible, and this organization cannot apply for foundation grants. Table Mountains Conservation Fund grew as an outshoot of Save The Mesas in order to apply for foundation grants and receive tax-deductible contributions in the on-going effort to acquire and preserve the North and South Table Mountains. Each organization has a separate board of directors. 

9. Where are North and South Table Mountains?

The Table Mountains are located in the western foothills of the Denver Metropolitan area, and bounded by the City of Golden and the western communities of Pleasant View, Fairmont, and Applewood.  They are located in Jefferson County. The Table Mountains are visible landmarks from Cities of Lakewood, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Edgewater, and Denver. They can be seen from aircraft landing at Denver International Airport and Jefferson County Airport. North and South Table Mountains are divided by Clear Creek which flows from Loveland Basin to the confluence of the Platte River. Click here for maps.

10. What makes the Table Mountains so important to preserve?

In the 1850’s, settlers from the Midwest called North and South Table Mountains the “Shining Mountains” noting their changing colors under the sun and clouds. They rise 700 feet over the City of Golden. Native Americans used the mountains to hunt small game and used the Table Mountains for temporary campsites. Sixty-three million years ago, four layers of volcanic (basalt) flows formed North Table Mountain (NTM) and three flows formed South Table Mountain (STM). As volcanic structures, they are unique in the Front Range. NTM is nationally recognized for zeolite specimens. In 1943, the discovery of the K-T boundary, the geologic boundary that divides the time of the dinosaurs during the Cretaceous period and the rise of mammals in theTertiary period, was first discovered on South Table Mountain. A jawbone of a small mammal that survived after the dinosaurs were killed off was discovered in a paleontology dig in 2000 on STM. The Table Mountains support diverse habitat with over 335 plant species and are a wildlife corridor for more than 50 types of local and migratory birds and numerous mammals. In recent years, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, located on a portion of STM, has been operating one of two ambient sunlight measurement stations in the world as they measure global warming. The Table Mountains have unique historic, geological, scientific, and cultural importance. They continue to serve as urban buffers, and as acquisition continues, the Table Mountains will be vital as open space land.    

11. Is all the Table Mountain Land public Open Space?

No. There are still 400 acres on North Table Mountain that are held in private ownership. Ongoing conversations occur between Jefferson County Department of Open Space and the owners. 

12. Are there public trails to the tops of the Table Mountains? 

Both North and South Table Mountains have extensive networks of official and social trails on the slopes and summits of the mesas. Please visit Jefferson County Department of Open Space and the City of Golden Parks and Recreation Department “City Trails” for location of trailheads and trails.

Before heading out, please review trail etiquette on the Jefferson County Department of Open Space. We all have an obligation to show courtesy to other trail users and be good stewards of the table mountains. There are on-going trail expansions and improvement projects so it would be good to visit the above sites before striking out. 

13. What can be done to get all of the Table Mountains land as open space?

TMCF works with landowners, City of Golden, and Jefferson County Open Space Department to facilitate the land transactions. This is a long-term effort requiring extensive ongoing conversations with all parties, patience, and vigilance. 

14. Are the Table Mountains threatened with Development?

North Table Mountain is not threatened with development as all the land that can be acquired for open space has been purchased. There is a Management Plan that can be accessed at Jefferson County Department of Open Space.  South Table Mountain stays under continued threat of development of about 400 acres based on statements made by the private landowners. A Jefferson County Open Space plan is evolving (2008-2009) and updated information is available here.

15.  How can I help in preserving the Table Mountains?

Get active in TMCF. We have periodic projects and events. Your time and help on these projects, whether trail building, handling publicity, working an information booth, or sending out mailing, etc., are all important ways of keeping the public aware of the importance of the Table Mountains.  Click here to go to the Volunteer Activities page. You can also make a financial donation to TMCF or email suggestions to TMCF

16. How are TMCF the funds used?  

Land acquisition funds come primarily from Jefferson County Open Space funds and City of Golden’s  Open Space funds. TMCF uses its funds to educate the public and has offered to pay for land appraisals and contributed to land purchase. 

17. If all the Table Mountains land becomes open space, what would be TMCF’s future role?

Hopefully in a few years the goal of having the Table Mountains as open space will be accomplished. When that does happen, the role of TMCF will continue to be one of land stewardship. Future efforts will build on current projects, such as providing public interpretative trails; developing materials in print, visual, and electronic formats about the historical, scientific, and cultural features of the table mountains; and supporting public educational trail hikes, information seminars, and other events that focus on these important geological formations.

18. What does the distinctive TMCF logo represent?

The logo was designed by a volunteer to be a stylized version of the two Table Mountains divided by Clear Creek. Embedded in the image is a depiction of a bird that is flying over the Table Mountains.


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