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PNS Daily Newscast - May 24, 2019 


President Trump's reported to be ready to sign disaster relief bill without money for border security. Also on the Friday rundown: House bills would give millions a path to citizenship; and remembering California’s second-deadliest disaster.

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Trinidad Takes Steps to Become Outdoor-Recreation Destination

Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy in Colorado are moving forward with plans to conserve 30 square miles of wilderness south of Trinidad for wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation. (Michelle Goodall/Wikimedia Commons)
Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy in Colorado are moving forward with plans to conserve 30 square miles of wilderness south of Trinidad for wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation. (Michelle Goodall/Wikimedia Commons)
January 8, 2019

TRINIDAD, Colo. — Conservation groups have reached a deal to purchase Crazy French Ranch, a 30-square-mile parcel that includes the iconic Fisher's Peak just south of Trinidad.

The move, initiated by city leaders, also will increase public access to two adjacent state wildlife areas and New Mexico's Sugarite Canyon State Park. Wade Shelton, senior project manager with the Trust for Public Land, said he believes the project will be a huge boon for Trinidad's outdoor-recreation economy.

"Having 55 square miles of contiguously protected and publicly accessible land, that is something that would make Trinidad a destination, much like Estes Park is for Rocky Mountain National Park,” Shelton said.

The Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy must raise nearly $28 million to complete the purchase. The groups already have raised nearly $15 million of that total.

Shelton said in the meantime, partners - including Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Trinidad State Junior College and members of the public - will develop a plan that balances outdoor recreation and conservation.

Matt Moorhead, director of strategic partnerships with The Nature Conservancy in Colorado, said a major aim of the project is to protect critical habitat for the region's elk, mule deer, black bear, mountain lion and bobcat populations.

"This property sits astride the corridor that over the course of the last 50 years has allowed a lot of these large mammals to move from the mountains and repopulate the prairies that a lot of these large animals had been driven out of,” Moorhead said.

Shelton said with four exits along Interstate 25, he expects a lot more people traveling between Front Range cities and Santa Fe to make the stop.

"That is a huge outdoor resource for any kind of wildlife enthusiast, whether you're a hunter, whether you're a bird watcher, or whether you're somebody who just likes hiking, climbing, mountain biking and want to see some elk or deer while you're out there,” Shelton said.

For more information about the planning process, check out the project's Facebook page @Fisherspeakranch.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO