Conservationists buy southern Colorado ranch for open space

TRINIDAD, Colo. — Conservation groups have reached a deal to buy and protect a southern Colorado ranch that includes the landmark Fishers Peak near Trinidad.

The Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy said Friday they will buy the Crazy French Ranch from the French Trinidad Co. for $25.5 million. The public will have access to the land once the two groups, along with state and local officials, settle on a management plan.

The rugged ranch covers 30 square miles near the New Mexico border and is home to elk, deer, black bears, mountain lions and bobcats.

The conservation groups say state agencies have pledged $14.5 million toward the purchase, including $7.5 million from lottery proceeds. The conservation groups will launch a drive to raise the remaining $11 million.

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