The Buckeye Recreation Area on the Manti-La Sal National Forest in southwestern Colorado is a jewel in a spectacular setting. Ponderosa forests, a sparkling blue reservoir and towering peaks surround it.
Until 2010, it consisted of dilapidated facilities and barren shorelines with compacted soils. Off-highway vehicle trails crossed the entire area, and vehicles routinely traveled across the dam.
Two seasons and more than $1.3 million in Forest Service Recovery Act funding later, wood fences protect the shoreline from vehicular travel, and 50 new individual and group camp sites with tables, fire rings, graveled spurs, and new restrooms stand ready for their first season of visitors.
There’s also a new concrete boat ramp and new gravel roads throughout the recreation area. Workers funded by the Recovery Act have also installed culverts and cattle guards while obliterating some user-created roads and building graveled pathways. In addition, interpretive and informational signs are now installed.
The recreation area is safer and more attractive while providing more opportunities for recreational use and fewer opportunities for resource damage.