Sweetwater Lake closer to conservation as Forest Service land | VailDaily.com

Sweetwater Lake closer to conservation as Forest Service land

The Conservation Fund on Tuesday finalized its acquisition of Sweetwater Lake, getting a bargain price and marking a milestone in the effort to protect the 488-acre property long eyed for big development. 

It’s been almost a year since the fund began negotiating with investors who owned the lake surrounded by White River National Forest and bordered by the Flat Tops Wilderness. The plan was to buy the property for $9.3 million and then transfer it over to the White River National Forest, which would tap the Land and Water Conservation Fund to pay back the national conservation organization.

“We knew we were taking a risk, but this is why The Conservation Fund exists; to bridge the gap between private landowners who can’t wait around all day and federal agencies who have their own processes,” The Conservation Fund’s project manager Justin Spring said. “We can’t thank the investors enough for taking a chance on conservation. Without them, we wouldn’t be here.”

Greenwood Village’s Coulton Creek Capital sold the property for $7.1 million. The investment group, which took over the lake and surrounding acreage in 2017 when an entrepreneur’s 12-year plan to bottle water from a nearby spring evaporated into bankruptcy, listed the property for $9.3 million as a potential luxury waterfront club

Spring said the investment group was able to benefit from the cash sale as well as tax benefits from selling to a nonprofit at a discount. 

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

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