March 11, 2022 – Today we closed on two more parcels in the Holy Cross Wilderness of Colorado. These properties, the Chance and Hercules Lodes, total 25 acres and are located on the southwest side of the wilderness.
I had the good fortune of visiting these properties with my cousin, who happens to live close by. Until that day, my cousin was unfamiliar with my job and so, as we hiked past the wooden Holy Cross Wilderness sign, I described the mission of The Wilderness Land Trust and why our work is important. I told her that, while the ground we were walking on is thought to have the highest level of land protection, there are actually significant holes in that protection.
When we reached the first of the two parcels, the flat, beautiful 5-acre Hercules Lode which runs along the east shore of Fancy Lake, my cousin was shocked.
“This is private property?!”
I explained that these pieces of private land are not only a threat because of the opportunities for cabins to be built, mines dug, trees felled. They are a threat because they siphon off resources otherwise used to manage the surrounding wilderness. Their mere existence degrades the integrity of the wilderness area.
The good news is, The Wilderness Land Trust has a way to remove this threat and make our wilderness areas truly protected.
We’ve been at it for 30 years.
In Colorado alone, we have protected more than 6,000 acres of private land and the innumerable acres of surrounding public land with our work.
And today, we can add another 25 acres to that number.
We are grateful for all of our supporters who make our work protecting wilderness possible. We truly couldn’t do it without you.
-Kelly Conde, Wilderness Land Trust Lands Specialist