In 2010, the Park Trust joined with the Wilderness Land Trust to turn over the Denver Lode, a 10-acre mining claim, to the United States Forest Service. The claim was inside the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, south of the city of Aspen, Colorado. With a generous donation from the Richard W and Elaine E Barrett Foundation of Boulder, Colorado, National Park Trust was able to support the Wilderness Trust in the acquisition of the mining claim and donation to the US Forest Service.

The mining claim was in a federally declared wilderness. Wilderness designation of an area with mining claims does not preclude the claim owner from accessing the claim and engaging in mining operations. So, removal of a potential active claim prevents impact on that portion of the wilderness.

Project Details:

Project Years: 2010

Parcel Size: 10.33 acres 

Long Term Significance of the Acquisition:
  • Eliminates the possibility of mineral mining in federally declared wilderness
  • Protects and maintains an undeveloped, wilderness landscape, as well as views that, are from other points in the wilderness
Value to the Park and Public:
  • The public will enjoy a wilderness experience undiminished by any possible active mining operation
Map of project area