Land purchase expands Rio Blanco State Wildlife Area

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MEEKER I Colorado Parks and Wildlife has completed the acquisition of 695 acres, most of which is adjacent to the Rio Blanco State Wildlife Area, located a few miles west of Meeker.

Purchased from ExxonMobil with funding from Great Outdoors Colorado and from the sale of Habitat Stamps, the $1.5 million addition increases the Rio Blanco SWA from 390 acres to nearly 1,000 acres of excellent wildlife habitat.

“It took years of planning and negotiations, but it’s finally done and we are proud of this accomplishment,” said Area Wildlife Manager Bill de Vergie of Meeker. “Anytime we can preserve habitat, wildlife benefits and so do the people of Colorado.”

The parcel includes approximately one mile of access to the White River and several hay fields and wetlands.
It will feature waterfowl, small game and some limited big game hunting opportunities. In addition, it will provide winter range for deer and elk, critical for their survival.

The negotiations for this property included a land swap completed in 2013. That exchange gave ExxonMobil more than 900 acres of CPW land located adjacent to Rio Blanco County Road 5, known as the Square S hayfields.
In return, Colorado Parks and Wildlife received more than 1,500 acres that became the new Colorow SWA, located north of Highway 64.

“We appreciate working with an energy company that understands the importance of wildlife habitat,” said de Vergie. “We thank ExxonMobil for their cooperation in making the land swap and this purchase possible.”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds visitors to check current hunting, fishing and land use regulations when planning to visit a State Wildlife Area.
Refer to the Recreational Lands Brochure as well as the Fishing and Hunting Regulation Brochures.
For more information, contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Meeker office at 970-878-6090.