622 acres given to $14 million project | SummitDaily.com

622 acres given to $14 million project

OURAY ” The Trust for Public Land says it has completed a deal to put 622 more acres of high country into public ownership.

The national nonprofit conservation group altogether has acquired about 8,000 acres in the San Juan Mountains between Ouray, Silverton and Telluride since 2001 as part of a $14 million Red Mountain project. The plan is to acquire as many mining claims as possible in an 11,000-acre triangle of country between the three historic mining towns, said the trust’s Colorado director, Doug Robotham.

The most recently acquired property is made up of more than 70 mining claims at elevations between 8,400 feet and 13,000 feet.

The trust will seek to acquire 700 to 1,000 acres from another 19 property owners in Ouray and San Juan counties in the next phase of the five-year project, Robotham said.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A man from Illinois drowned Saturday after his raft overturned on the Colorado River just east of Glenwood Springs.

The 45-year-old man was with three or four people when their raft flipped around 4 p.m., Garfield County sheriff’s Sgt. Kurt Conrad said.

They were pulled out of the water by a rafting group that came down the river moments later. They performed CPR on the man but were unable to revive him, Conrad said. The man’s name and hometown have not been released pending notification of his family.

Glenwood Springs is about 175 miles west of Denver in Colorado’s central Rocky Mountains. Warmer weather in the mountains has helped melt the snow, swelling rivers and streams.

“The river is running pretty high right now because of the runoff, but I don’t know if that was a factor,” Conrad said.

The group wasn’t with a rafting company, Conrad said.

In Mesa County, a man who tried to help another swimmer struggling in water in the “Potholes” area near Colorado National Monument was sucked into the undertow and drowned Saturday, sheriff’s spokeswoman Susan McBurney said. His identity was not released. The other swimmer survived.

It was unclear what role water levels may have played in his death.

FORT COLLINS ” Former Colorado State University President Al Yates says he won’t be on the ballot in 2006 despite pressure from friends and supporters.

Yates last year served as co-chairman of a successful statewide ballot effort to increase tobacco taxes to fund health programs.

This year he is campaigning for a pair of budget reform proposals that would temporarily suspend the revenue limitations of the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights and authorize $1.7 billion in bonds for transportation and other needs.

His campaigning for political causes was seen by some as raising his political profile in advance of a campaign of his own.

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