Ute Ulay Mine Town Site and Mill: A Colorado Brownfields Success Story

The historic Ute Ulay mine town site and mill in Hinsdale County has long been an unofficial visitor attraction despite its deteriorating condition and unknown environmental safety. When the current owner, LKA Gold, offered to donate the historic town site to the county, the county reached out to the Colorado Brownfields Foundation (CBF), now a part of the Colorado Brownfields Partnership, for direction on transaction strategies, environmental due diligence, and gap funding.

The ten-acre site’s environmental stabilization work was completed with the help of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Colorado Department of Public Health & the Environment (CDPHE), and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The site consists of 18 structures including residential cabins, a blacksmith shop, a boarding house, a red-cedar water tank, and assayer’s office. Over the past twenty years, the structures have continued to degrade during adverse weather and many are unstable.

CBF helped secure granted environmental due diligence prior to acquisition and, in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, CBF is granted technical assistance including advocacy as a regulatory liaison, assistance with contractor procurement, and coordination through the clean-up process.

Historic photo of Ute Ulay Mine Town Site and Mill.

Image: Historic photo of Ute Ulay Mine Town Site and Mill.