Gov. Jared Polis announced Thursday his administration plans to turn the country's tallest mountain peak east of Interstate 25 into Colorado's newest state park.
Fishers Peak, which stands at 9,633 feet near the city of Trinidad in southern Colorado, has been privately owned and off limits to the public.
But that is poised to change in the coming years as the state and conservation groups work together to convert the former ranching property into a state park.
"The Fisher Peak state park area will be a very important economic driver for the city of Trinidad and for southern Colorado in general," Polis said. "We want improvements made and visitors on the property no later than January of 2021."
Polis said the plans will include new trails, a visitor center and camping areas.
Colorado has not created a new state park since 2013. Polis said public lands are part of Colorado's identity.
The 30-square-mile property is home to several types of wildlife ranging from wild turkeys to elk.
The groups working to conserve the area and turn it into a state park include the city of Trinidad, the Trust for Public Land, the Nature Conservancy, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Great Outdoors Colorado.
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