Durango Considering Lake Nighthorse Recreation Management

The City of Durango is currently considering whether they will take on the management of recreation at Lake Nighthorse. According to Cathy Metz, Director of the City Parks and Recreation Department, the most critical issue is whether the proposed phased development is financially feasible. “We have to make sure that use fees cover the costs,” she said. “Self-support is important because we don’t want to put pressure on the general fund.” Nevertheless, there is a certain urgency in finding a recreation manager because the lake is off-limits to the public until someone is responsible for activities. According to the master plan, these activities include boating--non-motorized and motorized, campgrounds, interpretive center, shoreline recreation, and trails. The Animas-La Plata Water Conservancy District coordinated the public process to develop a recreation plan for the management of Lake Nighthorse and the surrounding area, which is currently under review by the Bureau of Reclamation. The District is also evaluating its future involvement, if any, in the management of the recreation at the lake and surrounding area.