The Holy Cross Wilderness, Colorado

More Protection for Colorado Wilderness – A message from Kelly Conde, lands specialist

Dec. 6, 2021 – The Wilderness Land Trust just closed on the Little Anne Lode in the Holy Cross Wilderness. This five-acre property may be small, but with both building and mining potential, posed a big risk to the wilderness area.

View of the Holy Cross Wilderness from the Little Anne Lode property

View of the Holy Cross Wilderness from the Little Anne Lode property

My first time in the Holy Cross Wilderness was this summer on a site visit to Little Anne Lode, which is just a short scramble above Upper Turquoise Lake. While the hike was very pleasant, it wasn’t until I made it over the ridge to the property that I understood the true, epic nature of the Holy Cross Wilderness.

I saw before me the swath of unencumbered land, made of rugged ridgelines and glacier-carved valleys that sits between the Vail Pass and Thompson Divide wildlife corridors, and serves as a critical passageway for everything from elk to Canada lynx.

What I didn’t see but knew was there were the many private inholdings that dot the Holy Cross Wilderness. Within these private parcels, minerals can be mined, houses built, trees logged. These parcels sit beside high mountain lakes, along scenic ridges and through clear tumbling streams. Their impact extends well beyond their borders, threatening the very nature of the wilderness.

My site visit was a necessary step in purchasing the Little Anne Lode parcel and protecting it from these threats. And now, with this acquisition, the incredible view above Upper Turquoise Lake will remain unchanged and the area unencumbered by mining or other development forever.

Little Anne Lode is one of nine properties we are working to acquire throughout Colorado, five of which are in the Holy Cross Wilderness. On Tuesday, Dec. 7, The Wilderness Land Trust is participating in #ColoradoGives, a state-wide giving campaign that will help fund our efforts to acquire and transfer private land within Colorado’s wilderness. Please visit our Colorado Gives page between now and midnight on Dec. 7. All donations made between now and the end of the year will be matched (up to $35,000) by our board of directors.

And stay tuned for some more good news coming out of Colorado later this month!