The Alamosa Ranch is 1,300 acres of open space, woods, and wildlife habitat bordering the Rio Grande River on the north side of Alamosa. The City of Alamosa purchased this property in 1996 from a local rancher, who wanted to see the land protected from development. Local citizens, with support from SLVEC, formed CFAR (Citizens for the Alamosa Ranch) to address management of the property, and to insure that development of the site is limited, at best.
CFAR wrote a Draft Management Plan for the property in February 2009. This plan supported the preservation of the ranch as open space, with a focus on activities such as walking, jogging, bicycle riding, wildlife and bird watching, and other appropriate open-space activities. There are currently eight miles of trails on the ranch, and this proposal uses a phased-in approach to providing additional trails as needed. The plan further calls for the continued historic use of flood irrigation on the ranch for livestock grazing, which supports the wetlands and associated wildlife.
Educational opportunities for nearby school groups, and seasonal activities such as fishing, ice-skating, and cross-country skiing are also proposed. Primitive camping is also proposed.
CFAR completed an updated Management Plan in June of 2010 and submitted it to the Alamosa City Council and the Alamosa Ranch Advisory Board. No immediate action was taken and soon a project was proposed for the ranch that has since changed the integrity of the wildlife preservation areas. The proposal was to create a disc golf course on public land and after many candidates for this marginal sport's location a prime wildlife habitat area of the Alamosa Ranch was targeted.
CFAR was in the forefront to find other areas that would be more appropriate for a developed sport such as disc golf. The Alamosa Ranch Board and City Council however chose to insert this golf course into an area that had been under management to regenerate cottonwood and nurture the supported wildlife. Currently the course has fragmented the former wildlife habitat by developing the central portion of a 100 acre section. Plans are now in place to further impact this once wild area by constructing professional-grade cross country tracks. This proposal is a collaborative effort with the city of Alamosa and Adams State College. As of March 2013, this project has been suspended awaiting grant funding.
The management for the Alamosa Ranch is trending, perhaps irreversibly, towards human developed recreation in detriment to former wildlife habitats. The Alamosa City Council recently disbanded the Ranch Advisory Board which could further dilute public involvement in management decisions.
A private developer has recently proposed a land exchange for portions of the Alamosa Ranch that include a remnant riverbend slough and a portion of pasture that hosts waterfowl activity unique to the rest of the ranch. Here is a short video that illustrates what is at stake.
Here is a link to the proposal as posted on the official city of Alamosa web site.
This page will be updated as new situations occur, or you can contact SLVEC for up to the minute changes- 719-589-1518.
Click below to view the Citizens for the Alamosa Ranch 2011 Management Plan