WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman John Salazar’s office announced Tuesday that the fight to secure $1.25 million of federal funding toward the purchase of old mining claims near the Town of Ophir has been won.
For years, Ophir residents have worked to protect critical wildlife habitat, maintain recreational access on public lands, protect water quality and help maintain the quality of life in the Ophir Valley.
The Pauls family, which owns the property, has worked closely with Congressman Salazar and other elected officials, as well as with the Trust for Public Land and members of the Colorado Congressional Delegation to bring this dream to fruition. Congressman Salazar fought for the inclusion of the funding in the omnibus appropriations bill, which has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and now goes to President Obama for his signature.
“This funding will help insure that valuable open space in the Ophir Valley is preserved and protected for future generations of Coloradoans and visitors to the area,” says Congressman Salazar. “Having been to this area myself, I know that this spectacular alpine valley is very worthy of conservation. This funding is a critical step for this project.”
“Congressman Salazar should be applauded once again for his dedication to preserving critically important lands in Colorado,” says San Miguel County Commissioner Joan May. “This is long-awaited great news. Funding the preservation of the Ophir land is a win-win situation.”