The Wilderness Land Trust Completes Colorado's Mount Massive Wilderness

Aug 08, 2012, 08:00 ET from The Wilderness Land Trust

CARBONDALE, Colo., Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Wilderness Land Trust has ensured protection for one of Colorado's most spectacular federal wilderness areas with the acquisition of a 20-acre private property within the Mount Massive Wilderness Area. 

Blue Lake, set amidst granite boulders and tundra, was the last privately owned property within the 30,500-acre Mount Massive Wilderness. Located along the crest of the Continental Divide in Lake County, the Mount Massive Wilderness enfolds a broad swath of the high country between Aspen and Leadville. A rugged and remote alpine landscape with steep valleys, deep lakes, and abundant streams, the wilderness area surrounds Colorado's second tallest peak, 14,421-foot Mount Massive.

The Wilderness Land Trust, a nonprofit based in Carbondale, has been working throughout the West to complete the National Wilderness System by buying wilderness "inholdings" – privately owned lands that, if developed, would diminish the wilderness character of the surrounding public lands.

Since it was founded 20 years ago, the Trust has acquired inholdings in 20 of Colorado's federal wilderness areas – adding some 4,400 acres to the system. The Blue Lake property will be transferred to the Mount Massive Wilderness, to be managed by United States Forest Service.

Located above tree line in a steep side valley up from the North Fork of Lake Creek, Blue Lake is an easy day hike. The first mile of the trail climbs to the wide North Fork Valley offering a wonderful view of a waterfall. While hard to follow in some places, this  trail offers a dependable route to Blue Lake and the high country, with wildflower meadows and spectacular views of Continental Divide.

"This property is a perfect example of the Trust's work.  Purchasing the Blue Lake inholding eliminated a difficult management issue for the Forest Service. We are particularly excited because we were able to complete the Mount Massive Wilderness Area," said Reid Haughey, President of the Trust.

The Wilderness Land Trust, founded in 1992, is celebrating 20 years of Keeping Wilderness Wild.  The Trust acquires unprotected private land within wilderness for public ownership to guarantee that future generations can enjoy the enduring resources of wilderness. The Trust has acquired 375 properties comprising more than 36,000 acres, within 82 designated and proposed wilderness areas.


David Kirk, Senior Lands Specialist

The Wilderness Land Trust

(480) 444-8707

SOURCE The Wilderness Land Trust