The Bureau of Land Management acquires parcel to increase access to public lands in central Colorado

MONTE VISTA  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) San Luis Valley Field Office added a 24-acre parcel to increase access to public lands in Saguache County, Colorado.

With the assistance of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, BLM acquired the acreage west of the town of Saguache. The property will provide access to BLM’s Trickle Mountain Area of Critical Environmental Concern to the east and to U.S. Forest Service lands to the west. In addition to providing access to adjacent public lands, the newly acquired parcel provides fishing opportunities along Middle Creek, which flows through the property.

“This acquisition is a great example of BLM’s efforts to expand access to our public lands,” said BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs William Perry Pendley. “It is particularly exciting to increase the recreational opportunities for hunting and fishing in central Colorado.”

“We are grateful to have strong relationships with partner organizations like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation,” said San Luis Valley Field Manager Melissa Garcia. “These new lands will add to the outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities in the northern San Luis Valley.”

The San Luis Valley Field Office will begin working to establish a trailhead at the site and will also be assessing the property for future conservation and recreational opportunities.

Funding for this BLM acquisition was provided by the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation purchased the property in 2018 as part of its broader effort to conserve additional lands that provide access for hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation.

“This project is a prime example of the power of partnerships,” said Kyle Weaver, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation president and CEO. “We appreciate the desires of a willing seller, who is also a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation member, as well as our partners at the BLM and Bass Pro Shops for getting this done.”

The acquisition furthers a number of the Department of the Interior’s priorities, including those found in Secretary’s Order 3366, Increasing Recreational Opportunities on Lands and Waters Managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

In 2019, recreation on land managed by the BLM in Colorado contributed over $692 million to the economy.