The Higel State Wildlife Area in the San Luis Valley is well known to offer prime waterfowl and small game hunting. Now, with the addition of two adjacent parcels, more acres are available for sportspersons.
In 2018, Colorado Parks and Wildlife secured conservation easements on the parcels that total 700 acres. Now, the Higel SWA, located in Alamosa County, is comprised of nearly 2,200 acres of prime wildlife habitat straddling both sides of a section of the Rio Grande.
In order to preserve the wildlife resources at the area, CPW restricts use of the property. From Feb. 15 through July 15 the area is closed to public access to protect nesting water birds.
Those wishing to go to the Higel SWA when it is open are required to make a reservation, obtain a free access permit through CPW and only enter the property from specific locations. A variety of restrictions exists, so please make note of the following:
From Sept. 1 through Feb. 14, access is allowed by permit only on Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays and legal holidays. A total of 25 individual permits are issued per day.
To make a reservation and to obtain a permit you must have a Colorado hunting or fishing license.
Permits can only be obtained by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. A maximum of two individual reservations can be made in one email. In the email, please include the date of the visit, full name, the customer identification number on the license, email address and phone number for each individual. The permit will be sent by email. The permit must be taken with you when visiting the Higel SWA.
Reservations for weekends may be made up to 14 days in advance, but not less than two days before the Saturday of the weekend requested.
Reservations for Wednesdays and holidays may be made up to 14 days in advance but not less than two days before the date requested.
An additional five permits are available for a section known as the “Higel lease area.”
By special request, accommodations can be made during closures for education or science purposes.
“The additional parcels provide even more excellent wildlife habitat to this state wildlife area,” said Area Wildlife Manager Rick Basagoitia. “The use restrictions are important for maintaining this valuable resource in perpetuity.”