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Colorado Historic Byway receives national recognition

The National Scenic Byway Foundation presented the Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic & Historic Byway...
The National Scenic Byway Foundation presented the Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic & Historic Byway with its Beautification Community Award on Thursday.(Colorado Department of Transportation)
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 10:22 AM MDT
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ALAMOSA, Colo. (KKTV) - The National Scenic Byway Foundation presented the Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic & Historic Byway with its Beautification Community Award on Thursday. This award is for completing the “Rancho la Luz – Conejos Ranchland Initiative – Preserving Wet Meadows” project.

This historic 500-acre ranch is in the Colorado/ New Mexico border and is a integral part of the San Luis Valley and Conejos County’s agricultural landscape. Leaders in the area are honored and thankful for the award.

“We are honored to receive this national award, recognizing not only for the successful effort to protect important agricultural land but the unique and beautiful scenery, history, culture, heritage and traditions not found anywhere else,” said Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area Interim Director Julie Chacon. “As one of the four oldest ranches and permanent settlements in Colorado, preserving Rancho la Luz, which was settled more than 150 years ago, will help provide a cultural experience and help people visualize what life would have been like for the earliest Spanish settlers.”

A $230,000 grant from the Great Colorado Outdoors helped preserve the property, which is part of a growing area of conserved land in Conejos County.

CDOT established a Scenic and Historic Byways program in 1989. This program supports the state’s twnty-six byways, two All-American Roads, ten National Forest Scenic Byways, and two Bureau of Land Management Backcountry Byways. 

“It took a long-term commitment and a substantial amount of work from all the various partners for this conservation effort to succeed,” said CDOT’s Byways Program Manager Lenore Bates. “This easement truly exemplifies the spirit of our Byways program, a permanent commitment that will preserve the scenic and cultural qualities of this landscape along the Los Caminos Byway forever. It’s great to see it recognized at the national level.”

To read more about the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area and the Byway, click here.

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