December 27, 2021, Evergreen, CO – The Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) is excited to announce the protection of the Douglas Mountain Ranch and Preserve, a 123-acre property located outside the Town of Empire in Clear Creek County. Through an acquisition, the property is now owned and managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) under its new name, the Pals Family State Wildlife Area. CPW will manage the property in conjunction with the adjacent Georgetown State Wildlife Area. MALT has facilitated every step of this project since its inception three years ago.
MALT began working on this project in 2018 when the local community rallied in opposition to a proposed gravel mine on the Douglas Mountain Ranch and Preserve property. The gravel mine would have had negative health impacts to both people and wildlife from daily truck traffic, noise and light pollution. As a result, MALT developed a relationship with the owners of the property and began investigating potential conservation options.
Working with the landowners in May 2020, MALT submitted a proposal for CPW to acquire the property under the state’s Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program. The CPW Commission approved partial acquisition funding and identified the project as a Tier 1 priority. Throughout 2021, MALT worked closely with CPW and the landowners, completing due diligence and navigating ongoing funding and real estate transaction issues.