488-acre ranch at Sweetwater Lake to become new state park

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Sweetwater Lake in Garfield Credit (Credit: Eagle Valley Land Trust)

DENVER (AP/KDVR) — Governor Jared Polis says a private ranch with ponds, springs and rare wetland plants in Colorado’s western mountains will be part of a new state park.

Polis was joined by state and federal parks officials for his announcement Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Polis says a 488-acre ranch near Sweetwater Lake in Garfield County, a northwestern part of the state which borders Utah, will become part of the White River National Forest.

The ranch land was acquired by the federal park service’s conservation fund on Aug. 31. Polis said the partnership to create a state park on U.S. Forest Service land is a first.

There is little infrastructure currently in place at the property, but improved facilities and a new boat launch are expected to be available to the public by June 1.

Polis says the area was among the federal program’s top priority purchases to increase public recreation and protect wildlife and nature.

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