A team is poised to acquire a scenic island in Colorado to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike for generations.
The 10 acres on Lake San Cristobal have been privately owned for more than a century. An iron bridge connects a series of smaller islands to the larger, verdant peninsula — a postcard image complemented by the San Juan Mountains.
"It's one of those spots in Hinsdale County that defines Hinsdale County," said Kristie Borchers, a commissioner in the county composed of 96% public land, including much of Lake San Cristobal, Colorado's second largest natural lake.
But anyone wanting to check out that foot bridge from the beloved beach near Lake City has been met by a gate and "no trespassing" signs.
The peninsula is under a conservation easement. "So it's already protected," Borchers said, "but what it is not is open for public use."
The land came up for sale this year. Borchers and other locals sprung to action, partnering with Trust for Public Land, which secured a $1.3 million grant from Great Outdoors Colorado. That covered 90% of the island's cost. Friends of Lake San Cristobal has gone about fundraising the rest.
Borchers said the closing date on the property is set for next week. She said advocates and county officials will launch talks next year to decide on the future use of the property.
A small amphitheater has been envisioned, along with restrooms, picnic tables, walking paths, and kayak and paddleboard rentals.
"Minimal impact" is the idea, Borchers said, "while also some recreation on the land."
Wonder if this will be another place like Hanging Lake -- supposedly public land which is very tightly regulated as to how many of the little folk can actually see it.
Hanging Lake was being degraded by excess visitation. Is that what u want?
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