Recreation at Lake Nighthorse

Recreation planning continues for Lake Nighthorse, with many organizations actively involved in securing funds to aid with recreation efforts. To-this-end, the National Park Service planner, Joy Lujan, who is organizing a recreation plan, continued a series of open houses and design meetings in January to ensure everyone’s interests are heard. Within a few months planners at Durango-based DHM Design should have a recreation plan for review by the public and water authorities. Final approval will take a few more months. The following provides some components of the plan:
·         A beach will be available for swimmers, and other areas will be designated for non-boating activities
·         A boat ramp (already installed on the northeast shore) will provide access for boaters and anglers
·         Campgrounds will be phased in
·         Entrance to the recreation area from County Road 210 will have a ticket booth and a station to check water craft for invasive species
·         The lake will have places for water craft ranging from power boats to canoes and kayaks--jet skis would be banned
·         The south and west shores of the lake will be off-limits to the public from November 15 to May 15 to provide habitat protection for wildlife
·         Trails will accommodate hikers, cyclists and equestrians
The lake is off-limits until a master plan is approved and someone to manage recreation is hired. Management possibilities include a new authority, a special district, and modification of Animas-La Plata Project guidelines to allow it to fund recreation.