In a move intended to protect recreational access to a local portion of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, Summit County officials have used open space funds to buy 33.5 acres of privately held mining land along the trail.
The purchases will also preserve habitat for mountain goats, big-horn sheep, pika, marmots and high alpine vegetation in the area, according to a statement from the county announcing the land purchases.
The local segment of the trail runs from Georgia Pass above Breckenridge to Greys and Torreys peaks, a pair of 14,000-foot mountains located above Montezuma.
The newly purchased land may eventually be turned over to the U.S. Forest Service, according to the statement.
The Continental Divide trail runs 3,100 miles from Mexico to Canada.
A property tax approved by voters in 2008 funds the Summit County Open Space program, providing $1.2 million annually dedicated to land acquisition.