Fishers Peak – The Purgatoire River Watershed will soon be home to not one but two state parks! The Crazy French Ranch, once a privately owned large ranch near Trinidad, has been purchased and named as Colorado’s 42nd state park.
The ranch contains the iconic Fisher’s Peak that can be seen for miles away outside the watershed. At least a portion of the property is slated to be open to the public by January 2021, although there is still much work to be done in terms of assessing restoration and recreational enhancement needs for the property, and then conducting the associated on-the-ground work.
Additionally, local community members have already and will continue to be closely engaged in providing input on developing the plan for the property that ensures the preservation of the cultural heritage of the property, and ensures that community members are on board with future proposed recreational enhancements and allowed activities.
Many community members are incredibly excited about the new recreational and economic opportunities that this new state park will bring, but other long-time residents in this largely agricultural watershed understandably lament that this historic private working ranch has shifted into public hands, and worry about how this change in ownership will affect historic activities conducted on the land as well as impacts on wildlife and adjacent private lands.
The Purgatoire Watershed Partnership – along with the 5 primary organizations involved in the development of this new state park including City of Trinidad, The Trust for Public Land, The Nature Conservancy, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, and Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) – is listening closely to community members in the watershed to make sure all input and concerns are considered.
If you would like to provide input on the development of this park, please contact me (Julie Knudson) at 970-420-1915 or and I will make sure that you are connected to any upcoming public meetings and can pass on your comments directly to the key planners.
For more information: Denver Post ArticleThe Trust for Public Land Article
PS. The other amazing state park in our watershed is Trinidad Lake State Park – come check it out if you haven’t already!