Conservation Group Contributes Land to RMNP

A 2,000 square foot house sits perched on a high overlook within Wild Basin,  surrounded by 12.5 acres of private property. Views of the The area has only been listed for sale twice in the last seventy years, setting it up for high demand and a quick sale. Thankfully, the Rocky Mountain Conservancy has had the property on their list of priorities for several years.

(Image - Rocky Mountain Conservancy)

"We knew right away that we had to step in quickly with what land protection reserves we had," says Charles Money, Executive Director of the Conservancy. "The last time it was on the market, there was immediate interest from many possible buyers."

With help from The Wilderness Land Trust and the National Park Trust, the Rocky Mountain Conservancy was able to step in and purchase the parcel of land on December 14th, 2016. The Wilderness Land Trust negotiated the purchase contract with the current owner assured they'd provide additional funds necessary for the purchase.

"This helps fulfill the purpose of the Wild Basin area - it provides a rare, accessible wilderness experience to Park visitors," points out Reid Haughey,President of the Wilderness Land Trust. "When the Rocky Mountain Conservancy called asking for help, we jumped at the opportunity to preserve the quiet recreation and wildlife habitat of Wild Basin - which is otherwise managed as designated wilderness surrounding a trail head access road. Ironically, every funder and board member I showed the property to immediately wanted the site for themselves, but knew it was more valuable as an asset for all. That shows how spectacular this location is."

The National Park Trust then jumped into action by calling on a local donor and their funding partner - The Barret Family Foundation. They were beyond excited to help complete the deal, recognizing the opportunity that they'd been presented with by becoming involved.

(Image - RMNP, view from the property)

The property is about a mile from the Wild Basin Entrance Station just north of Allenspark, Colorado. Both Longs Peak and Mount Meeker rise up above the property and awe-inspiring views of the Continental Divide can be enjoyed from the west. Though the parcel and land are within the wilderness boundary, they have not been managed as wilderness because they were privately owned. The next step for the partners is to remove the house and access drive, thereby allowing the area to be designated as wilderness and receive the high level of conservation protection as federal land.

"We are extremely grateful to the Rocky Mountain Conservancy, The Wilderness Land Trust and National Park Trust in acquiring this private piece of land inside the park. This is a gift that will live on forever as protected wilderness." - Darla Sidles, Superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park