Colorado Gov announces new state park in western mountains

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Maroon Lake at peak fall color in late September on the White River National Forest in Colorado.Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the 2.3 million-acre White River National Forest is the top recreation forest in the nation. Home to world-renowned ski resorts and the birthplace of Wilderness, the White River has something to offer every outdoor enthusiast.

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

Joined by state and federal parks officials, Polis announced the 488-acre ranch near Sweetwater Lake in a northwestern county which borders Utah, will become part of the White River National Forest. The ranch land near the Flat Tops mountain range was acquired in the federal park service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund purchase on Aug. 31.

The area was among the federal program’s top priority purchases to increase public recreation and protect the area’s wildlife, cultural and scenic values, the governor’s office said in a statement.

In an effort to increase the area’s public recreation, a new boat launch will be available next June. The state also plans to consult with the public and develop a long-term plan to expand and manage recreational activities while preserving the undeveloped nature of the property, Polis said in a statement.

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