(CBS4) – White River National Forest announced it acquired 488 acres of land in western Colorado. They say the move will help “protect wildlife habitat and create new recreational access” to Sweetwater Lake.

Sweetwater Lake (credit: Todd Winslow Pierce)

The land sits about 18 miles northwest of Dotsero.

“The Conservation Fund purchased the land in 2020 to prevent any potential development while the Forest Service awaited funding from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for the project, which had been identified among the top 10 priority LWCF purchases nationwide,” forest officials said in a news release on Tuesday.

Sweetwater Lake (credit: Todd Winslow Pierce)

While most parts of the land and lake are open to the public, the USFS is working with agencies like Colorado Parks and Wildlife on a long-term management plan.

Danielle Chavira