Ceremony Marks Recreation Opening at Lake Nighthorse Near Durango, Colorado

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Media Contact: Justyn Liff, 970-248-0625,

For Release: May 14, 2018


Reclamation's Commissioner Burman delivering a speech at Lake Nighthorse Recreation Area dedication ceremony
DURANGO, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation and City of Durango held a dedication ceremony this morning at the Lake Nighthorse Recreation Area located near Durango, Colo. The ceremony celebrated the collaboration and hard work between numerous stakeholders and partners to make recreation a reality at the site, including: the Animas-La Plata Conservation District, Animas-La Plata Operation, Maintenance, and Replacement Association, City of Durango, La Plata County, Reclamation, Southern Ute Indian Tribe and Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe.

“We’ve looked forward to opening this reservoir to recreation for a long time,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman, “We’re here because of the strong collaboration and determination of all of our project partners.” Commissioner Burman continued, “This is sacred land; thanks to everyone involved for their hard work to develop a plan that balances recreation opportunity with important cultural resource protections.

The City of Durango will manage the recreation area. “Reclamation appreciates the City stepping to the plate to manage recreation at Lake Nighthorse. We look forward to continuing the excellent working relationship we have established with the City and are excited about what the future holds”, said Ed Warner, Area Manager for Reclamation’s Western Colorado Area Office.

To protect cultural resources in the area, recreation is only allowed in developed areas and 25 feet above high-water level around the reservoir. Off limit lands around Lake Nighthorse are marked with no trespass signs and all visitors will receive information about appropriate recreating at the lake. Destruction or removal of cultural resources will be prosecuted. Reclamation will continue to work with all partners and stakeholders regarding recreation management at Lake Nighthorse.

Lake Nighthorse is part of the Animas-La Plata Project located near Durango, Colo. And provides important water storage for the region. Recreation opportunities at Lake Nighthorse include swimming, boating, fishing and picnicking. Motorized boats will be allowed from May 15 to November 15. All motorized boats will be inspected for invasive species and are subject to decontamination before entering the water. The City has designated Mondays and Wednesdays as “no wake” days, motorized boats must maintain wakeless speed on those days.

More information on Lake Nighthorse recreation is available at: durangogov.org/LakeNighthorse.

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