A grand conclusion for the Grandview mining claim near Independence | AspenTimes.com

A grand conclusion for the Grandview mining claim near Independence

Staff report
The view from the Grandview lode is truly grand. The mining claim was acquired by two nonprofit conservation groups in 2017 and transferred to the U.S. Forest Service this month.
Independence Pass Foundation/courtesy photo

Conservation groups and the federal government completed the process to get a mining claim in a spectacular setting near the ghost town of Independence into public hands earlier this month.

The Wilderness Land Trust transferred ownership of the 9-acre Grandview Lode to the U.S. Forest Service, the trust announced Friday. The Wilderness Land Trust and Independence Pass Foundation teamed up in January 2017 to buy the land from willing sellers.

The Grandview is on the steep hillside south of Highway 82, west of Independence. The private owners had legal vehicular access even though it was within the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness.

“Private ownership of this land would have opened it up to development, road construction and the disruption of vital habitat for threatened and endangered plants,” said a statement from Wilderness Land Trust.

The Grandview and adjacent Spotted Tail Lode, which is 10 acres, were purchased by Wilderness Land Trust and Independence Pass Foundation for $285,000 in January 2017. The Grandview was sold to the Forest Service for $310,000.

Transfer of the Spotted Tail hasn’t been completed yet, but that is the goal.

Wilderness Land Trust acquires property within or adjacent to wilderness areas throughout the Western U.S. It has successfully sold every one of those properties to the U.S. government — more than 400 times. More often than not, that property gets folded into wilderness — where motorized and mechanized uses are prohibited. In some cases, the land acquired provides critical trail access into wilderness.

The Independence Pass Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the natural environment and historic resources of the pass and its approaches. It got involved in this purchase because of the implications if the property would have been developed.


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