Durango Telegraph - A â??perfect pieceâ?? â?? City to purchase large Horse Gulch parcel
A â??perfect pieceâ?? â?? City to purchase large Horse Gulch parcel

Though the future of Horse Gulch is hanging in the balance, the City of Durango is working to preserve at least one major chunk of the recreational resource. On Tuesday night, the Durango City Council voted unanimously to enter a contract with the Crader family to buy 220 acres for $700,000. The city also voted to pursue a Great Outdoors Colorado grant to cover much of the ticket price.

The Crader parcel is located on the northern end of Horse Gulch and stretches to the top of the eastern ridge. Although it is a large piece of property, it only contains a small portion of Mike’s Trail. However, the parcel fits within the criteria of the City’s Parks, Open

Space and Trails plan and would be a major open space acquisition, according to Cathy Metz, Parks and Recreation director.

“The Division of Wildlife has shown a lot of different layers in terms of the parcel’s wildlife value,” she said. “It is vital habitat for bears, mountain lions and wild turkeys. It also has huge value for low-impact recreation, including hiking and mountain biking.”

Mary Monroe, executive director of Trails 2000, concurred that the Crader property would be a worthy addition to the Durango’s open space network. “I think it’s huge,” she said. “We have the opportunity to protect another ridgeline and a crucial viewshed. It’s a perfect


During the Tuesday session, council member Scott Graham remarked that the acquisition is a good first step toward preserving much of the local resource. “This is an absolute high priority, and we’ve been working on this for a decade now,” he said. “The price is terrific.”

Fellow councilor Doug Lyons agreed, saying, “The opportunity to hike and mountain bike in Horse Gulch was an important reason why me and my family decided to move here and take the job at Fort Lewis,” he said. “This is one of the first properties we should acquire. It’s big, and it’s important.”

– Will Sands