Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act

On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed into law permanent protections for the Hermosa Creek watershed, putting the final touches on a six-year, community-led process to protect 170 square miles of land just north of Durango. That same day, the local community celebrated our successful multi-year effort with Representative Scott Tipton and Senator Michael Bennet. This was a feat of bipartisanship, community coordination and hard work.

Hermosa Creek Celebration-7063-2

Celebrating Hermosa Creek

To everyone who made phone calls, wrote letters, signed petitions, spoke up in meetings, attended events, and promised to keep doing the good work necessary to protect Hermosa, thank you! We couldn’t have done it without you. Our efforts to protect the Hermosa Creek watershed may serve as a model of how to successfully preserve and protect our most cherished natural places for years to come.

Hermosa creek parkIn the end, the bill protected 108,000 acres of land surrounding Hermosa Creek, including nearly 38,000 acres of new wilderness. Additionally, the bill closed Lake Nighthorse, Horse Gulch, Animas Mountain, and Perins Peak – key recreational and wildlife areas surrounding Durango – to any future drilling or mining. These areas provide crucial habitat for local species of elk, deer, and cutthroat trout, as well as places for us to fish, hunt, and hike together for years to come.

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