Lake Nighthorse

A recreation plan for Lake Nighthorse continues to advance. Boat launching, angling, and swimming, however, are still about a year away. A draft recreation master plan is heading toward the Bureau of Reclamation, the federal agency which owns the Animas-La Plata Project (A-LP) of which Lake Nighthorse is a component. The Bureau must assure that the plan meets National Environmental Protection Act guidelines. A noise study that was conducted indicates that the decibel level of motorized boats on the lake will be less than the limit under state and city of Durango standards. In addition, a financial assessment of capital costs and user fees to build and maintain facilities and services is included.
On a separate A-LP note, the Bureau and the state of Colorado are negotiating the state’s share of Animas-La Plata Project construction costs. The Bureau says the state owes $36.5 million for its share of water (10,460 acre-feet). They attribute $28 million to construction and almost $8.5 million to interest. Members of the Colorado Water Conservation Board will negotiate for the state. Former Gov. Ritter in June 2010 signed House Bill 1250 that authorized the state to spend $36 million on A-LP.