Public Lands

Sweetwater Lake Recreation Improvements EIS

Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Colorado Parks and Wildlife
A lake in the mountains

In August 2021, the White River National Forest (WRNF) acquired an approximately 485-acre inholding that included the area of Sweetwater Lake. This area, located north of Dotsero, is being included in an approximately 852-acre project area proposed for recreation improvements. The project area is known for its wildlife, scenery, and social values, and existing recreation offerings include campsites, motorized boating, horse riding, and hiking. 

The WRNF has identified that there is a need for improved access, modernized facilities, and new recreation offerings, and intends to delegate the management of the project area to CPW. The proposed recreation improvements are being developed in a master development plan and may include more campsites and cabin sites, new and/or improved trails and overlooks, trailhead and parking improvements, and infrastructure updates such as septic and potable water systems. 

Because the project is located on lands managed by the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District (EHRD) of the WRNF, the project is subject to review in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Due to opposition expressed by some local governments and members of the public, SE Group understands the proposed project will be analyzed by the WRNF as the lead federal agency under an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. Four cooperating agencies have been identified that will participate in the NEPA process outside of the public involvement periods required under NEPA; these cooperating agencies include CPW, Garfield County, Eagle County, and the Town of Gypsum.

SE Group is managing the NEPA process and is currently engaged in this project as of Spring 2024.