Efforts to formally preserve Sweetwater Lake got a much-needed boost last week when the U.S. Forest Service added it to its top-10 list of places to protect using funds from the federal Land Water Conservation Fund, according to a news report in the Colorado Sun.
White River National Forest Service Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said he was optimistic that the requested $8.5 million in funding would come through in part because the preservation project is backed by an array of government agencies and nonprofits.
At the same time, the Eagle Valley Land Trust has raised more than $1 million to help save the property.
“There is a possibility we won’t get the full funding so we need to continue raising as much funding as possible to insure we can conserve Sweetwater Lake,” said Bergen Tjossem, the trust’s deputy director. “The first priority for everyone involved in this is to protect the property. Once we feel good about that we can start talking about visioning and improvements. We are not there yet. We are celebrating this success, but we have a long way to go still and we need to carry this momentum.”