Posted inNews, Outdoors

Why the Forest Service did not take all the water rights when it acquired Sweetwater Lake, Colorado’s newest state park

SWEETWATER LAKE — When the U.S. Forest Service acquired Sweetwater Lake in 2021, the agency did not pick up all the water rights associated with the property that is slated for development as Colorado’s newest state park.  The Conservation Fund, which acquired the property in 2020, retained water rights that did not transfer over when […]

Posted inNews, Outdoors

Plan to shutter buildings surrounding Colorado’s Sweetwater Lake has locals wondering if it was better off in private hands

SWEETWATER — “Don’t look up, OK?”  Adrienne Brink is showing off the kitchen of the lodge at Sweetwater Lake Resort. For nearly 40 years she has used the lakeside log cabin with cinder block additions as a headquarters for AJ Brink outfitters, guiding thousands of hunters and horseback riders into the Flat Tops Wilderness.  She’s […]

Posted inColoradans, Environment, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government

Colorado gets a 43rd state park under first-in-the-nation deal with the Forest Service

SWEETWATER LAKE — The newest federal land in Colorado will become the state’s 43rd state park in a first-of-its-kind partnership between the state and the U.S. Forest Service. What started as an effort to protect 488 acres surrounding Sweetwater Lake above the Colorado River from private development on Wednesday became the country’s first state park […]

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Sweetwater Lake is now permanently protected, thanks to its new owner, the White River National Forest

Historic Sweetwater Lake, above the Colorado River in Garfield County, just got new owners — and they’re here to protect it.  The White River National Forest completed its acquisition Tuesday of the lake and the 488 acres surrounding it adjacent to the Flat Tops Wilderness, marking a victory in conservationists’ efforts to protect the pristine […]

Posted inBusiness, Environment, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government

U.S. Forest Service approves protection of Colorado’s Sweetwater Lake, but big questions remain

The White River National Forest’s request for Land and Water Conservation Fund money to permanently protect Garfield County’s Sweetwater Lake — a pristine oasis surrounded by public lands —  has been granted. But the agency did not say how much of the requested $8.5 million from the fund will be distributed. That’s just one of […]

Posted inColoradans, Environment, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government

Sweetwater Lake closer to conservation as Forest Service land

The Conservation Fund on Tuesday finalized its acquisition of Sweetwater Lake, getting a bargain price and marking a milestone in the effort to protect the 488-acre property long eyed for big development.  It’s been almost a year since the fund began negotiating with investors who owned the lake surrounded by White River National Forest and […]

Posted inBusiness, Environment, News, Outdoors

GOCO’s transition to new grant distribution strategy creates avenue for Colorado coronavirus relief

Since voters amended Colorado’s constitution in 1992 to create Great Outdoors Colorado, the trust has directed lottery dollars into 5,300 projects in all 64 of the state’s counties. Last year GOCO toured the state and crafted a new way to distribute funds through a values-based approach that could stir legacy-type projects across entire regions.  The […]

Posted inColoradans, Environment, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government

U.S. Forest Service ranks protecting Colorado’s Sweetwater Lake high on its list of funding priorities

The U.S. Forest Service last week released its list of top priority land acquisitions for 2021 and the purchase of 488 acres around Garfield County’s Sweetwater Lake made the top 10.  After a year-long campaign to acquire and protect the lake and surrounding acreage in the shadow of the Flat Tops Wilderness, the Forest Service […]

Posted inNews, Outdoors

Plan to buy remote Sweetwater Lake and transfer it to Forest Service gets boost from Eagle County communities

Conservationists pushing to buy and protect Sweetwater Lake are nearing $1 million in donations, as the White River National Forest vies for as much as $8.5 million in support from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  The Eagle Valley Land Trust is working to raise $3.5 million for the $9 million purchase of the 488-acre, […]