During this economy, it is not a good time for funding recreation. About 170 citizens were told at a recent meeting that there is no manager or money for public recreation facilities at Lake Nighthorse. This 1,490-acre reservoir (Lemon Reservoir is 622 surface acres) is less than three miles from Durango. It will be filled in three years, and the public could be looking through a fence wishing it was playing at water's edge.The city of Durango has been quiet on this. It would rather pay $500,000 for snow-making at Chapman Hill when Old Man Winter has repeatedly shown us there isn't much for skier days there.
Colorado State Parks said it will not manage the reservoir because it has two projects under way for development. One such park is Lone Mesa, located 23 miles north of Dolores. The location speaks for itself for probably not having the 218,400 annual user days that is predicted for Lake Nighthorse. Click on "Planning Process" on Lone Mesa's Web site, and the page is blank.
Colorado State Parks' five-year strategic plan is dated 2005-09, so this is the time to recommend reprioritizing parks development. This is absolutely the best time for Durango and La Plata County residents to write to their state legislators requesting that state parks be adequately funded and to request that Colorado State Parks be the manager for Lake Nighthorse. Be sure to send a copy of your letter to CPRA, P.O. Box 1037, Wheat Ridge, CO 80034.
Sandy Young, Durango