In 2017, the National Park Service and The Conservation Fund finalized a purchase to add 2,494 acres to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Located near the visitor center and along the South Rim of the canyon, this addition will provide access for additional recreation opportunities within the park, which saw over 300,000 visitors in 2017.

Known as the Sanburg Ranch, this property will guarantee future access to the Red Rock Canyon area of the park, which is a destination for anglers and other backcountry users seeking a more gradual route to the Gunnison River. This acquisition will allow Black Canyon of the Gunnison to better preserve the viewshed from the visitor center and the popular South Rim Road, the main route through the park. The property also creates potential opportunities for NPS to provide water to the South Rim, reducing operational costs of hauling water to meet visitor and staff needs.

"This addition to the park will improve access to some of Colorado’s most outstanding scenery, fishing, and wildlife viewing, boosting the outdoor recreation economy that the surrounding communities depend on."

—Christine Quinlan, Western Field Representative, The Conservation Fund

Prior to this effort, we protected the 1,500-acre Dillon Pinnacles property in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and Gunnison County, along with tremendous support from the National Park Service (NPS). Situated above the Blue Mesa Reservoir and adjoining the Gunnison National Forest, the lands provide a scenic backdrop for the Curecanti National Recreation Area, home to bighorn sheep, elk and the threatened Gunnison sage grouse.