Leadville Ranger District completes Mount Massive Wilderness Area

Release Date: May 19, 2022

PUEBLO, Colo., May 19, 2022— The Leadville Ranger District of the Pike-San Isabel National Forests & Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands purchased the last private inholding in the Mount Massive Wilderness Area May 18, 2022.

A private inholding is private land completely surrounded by public lands held by people or companies before the area was determined to be public land by congressional designation.

“Getting the last Mt. Massive Wilderness inholding was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” said Leadville District Ranger Pat Mercer. “Locally, this promotes tenants of the Wilderness Act of 1964 by reducing unknowns that come with inholdings and ensuring consistent management across the entire area.”

The Mount Massive Wilderness was designated by congress in 1980 and now totals more than 30,500 acres. The area is home to Mount Massive, the second highest peak in Colorado at 14,443 ft. The purchase was made possible in partnership with The Wilderness Land Trust.

“The Wilderness Land Trust's ultimate goal is to remove every private inholding within our wilderness areas, one area at a time,” said Kelly Conde, The Wilderness Land Trust lands specialist. “The transfer of the last remaining inholding in the Mount Massive Wilderness is something to celebrate. Our partnership with the Forest Service is invaluable in making this happen.”

For more information about this project contact Max Forgensi at 970-309-4861 or justin.forgensi@usda.gov.

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