The U.S. House of Representatives has approved our Colorado Wilderness Act to permanently protect more than 660,000 acres of wilderness in 36 unique areas across Colorado. This historic bill – which is the largest Colorado wilderness-protection package that the House has passed in more than 40 years – will now head to the Senate. Colorado is known for its treasured landscapes. Protecting more of Colorado’s public lands is essential not only for our environment, but for our economy as well. (Source: Rep. DeGette' at https://degette.house.gov/)
Table Mountain proposed Wilderness. Photo Kate Spinelli.
The Colorado Wilderness Act includes more than 150,000 acres in the Arkansas River watershed: Browns Canyon, Badger Creek, Table Mountain, McIntyre Hills, Grape Creek, and Beaver Creek. More details here...
Thank you Rep. DeGette!
Browns Canyon proposed Wilderness. Photo Bob Wick.
See our Events page for all upcoming Wild Connections: Celebrate 25! events and meetings/public comment opportunities for threatened public lands.
Looking into Grape Creak Valley Photo John Stansfield
Last year, the Colorado State Land Board approved gold mining on the Grape Creek - Horseshoe Mountain State Stewardship Trust Parcel. Zephyr Minerals wants to nearly triple the size of this permit onto portions of BLM's Grape Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern and the Grape Creek Wilderness Study Area.
in a unanimous decision on Feb 25, the Fremont County Commissioners disappointingly approved gold exploration for the Canadian company, Zephyr Minerals, onto some of the most pristine and wild BLM public lands in the state, at Grape Creek just southwest of Cañon City.
The area approved for gold exploration includes BLM’s Grape Creek Wilderness Study Area, proposed for Wilderness in Congresswoman's Diana DeGette’s Colorado Wilderness Act and BLM’s Grape Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), currently protected and managed for natural character, scenic and visual qualities, and flora and fauna values..
This proposal would give county permission to Zephyr to explore for gold and other minerals and pipe water from Grape Creek drill pad sites, as well as service the sites via low-level helicopter flights into the Wilderness Study Area, with severe impacts to wildlife, including the resident herd of bighorn sheep. BLM has not acted on this matter.
Wilderness characteristics are threatened by this quarry expansion. Wild Connections opposes this proposal because the expansion area is within BLM's greater 31,918 acre Echo Canyon Lands with Wilderness Characteristics (LWC). More...
Parkdale Quarry in Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Photo BLM.
Wild Connections' mission is to identify, protect, and restore wildlands, native species,
and biological diversity in the Arkansas and South Platte watersheds.