Gila National Forest Expands

Silver City – The Gila National Forest has spent $2.4 million to purchase 1,293 acres of private land along Bear Creek north of Silver City.

Forest officials say the property offers a wide range of recreational uses, including hiking, camping and horseback riding.

The Trust for Public Land, a land conservation nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving land for people as parks and other natural places, assisted the Gila National Forest in negotiating the purchase of the tract.

The land runs about six miles from east to west and surrounds Bear Creek by a quarter-mile from north to south. The property is surround by the national forest, except for private lands to the east and west.

Bear Creek is a major tributary of the Gila River.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.