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Colorado governor announces new state park in western mountains

Posted at 5:05 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 13:26:16-04

DENVER (AP) — Gov. 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.

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.

“Sweetwater Lake is simply gorgeous, and has great potential for even more recreational opportunities like a campground,” Polis said. “This is the first of its kind partnership in Colorado to create a state park on U.S. Forest Service land, and we look forward to working with our partners and Coloradans with the ultimate goal of adding Sweetwater Lake to Colorado’s world-class state park system for fun, conservation, education, and to support job growth  for the region.”

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