Public Fishing Access and Habitat Protection Along the Yampa River

The SKCK Ranch, a recently acquired access easement, will provide more than two miles of public fishing access and protect valuable habitat for Colorado wildlife.
The Yampa River running through the SKSC Ranck.
The Yampa River running through the SKSC Ranch.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has secured a conservation easement that will provide access for public fishing on 4.8 miles along the Yampa River. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits use of the land in order to protect its conservation values. In additColorado Parks and Wildlife has secured an access easement that will allow the public to fish on 2.4 miles along the Yampa River. Additionally, Colorado Parks and Wildlife partnered with Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, who acquired a conservation easement that will permanently conserve the ranch.  A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits use of the land in order to protect its conservation values. In addition to the river access, 510 acres have been conserved to benefit bald eagle, elk, mule deer, moose, black bear, mountain lion, river otter, Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, greater sandhill crane, and northern leopard frog.

Adding a Missing Piece

Conservation easements – including the SKCK Ranch.

The SKCK Ranch, located in Routt County, connects a series of properties that are protected by conservation easements. The newly acquired property plays a key role in providing important connectivity for wildlife movement and enhances the agency’s previous conservation investments.

Prioritizing Wildlife

bald eagle
Bald Eagle

A bald eagle nest is located centrally on the SKCK Ranch property. To prevent nest disturbance, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be restricting fishing access by closing annually between December 1st through July 31st. We will also conduct monitoring and will open access early if it’s determined that either no eagles are present, there was nest failure, or if the chicks have fledged prior to July 31st.

What is the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program (CWHP)?
The Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program (CWHP) is a statewide FUNDING program that supports Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) mission by offering opportunities to landowners who wish to voluntarily protect important wildlife habitat, and/or provide sustainable wildlife-related recreational access to the public. The Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program expects to release its Request for Proposals (RFP) on September 16, 2021, with an anticipated application deadline of October 28, 2021. To learn how projects like “SKCK on the Yampa River” are planned and funded, please visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.

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