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We focus on public lands in the Arkansas and South Platte watersheds, including the Pike-San Isabel National Forest and the Royal Gorge Resource Area of the Bureau of Land Management
Browns Canyon National Monument
Browns Canyon with Mt. Princeton across the Arkansas Valley
Senator Udall leads Senate subcommittee hearing
Senator Mark Udall, chair of the Senate National Parks Subcommittee, described the values of Browns Canyon in detail in a hearing on 23 public lands bills. He and Michael Bennet are cosponsors of S.1794,The Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Act of 2013 that will designate 22,000 acres along the Arkansas River as a national monument, preserving the pristine wilderness area and ensuring recreational access for years to come.
This hearing moves the bill on step farther along the path to a Congressional vole.
BLM Mapping Project
Rugged BLM land along the Arkansas River. Photo EcoFlight.
Wild Connections volunteers and interns will continue mapping wilderness areas in Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land in the Upper South Platte and Arkansas River basins. The goal is to identify prime BLM areas: roadless, relatively unimpacted, with significant plant and wildlife. These lands are essential to create a “wildlands” network, connecting and expanding habitat corridors for Colorado plants and animals.
In 2013, we completed major work in areas along the Arkansas Canyon between Salida and Canon City and as far south as Slide Mountain/Blanca Peak. There is a report in the November 2013 Landscapes.
Once all these lands are surveyed, Wild Connections will provide the BLM with Lands with Wilderness Characteristic (LWC) and Land Use Planning reports, prioritizing lands to be set aside for wilderness. You can participate and hike, bike, drive, or fly with our with GPS-powered iPads. Contact John Sztukowski firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more or volunteer to collect data for wildlands inventories or apply for an internship.
Rampart Range Wildlands Project
Trail work. Photo Rampart Range Wildlands Projec
Good news! The traill work was completed On Aug 9th : 8 work days, 250+ volunteer-days, and 3000' of new trail is complete! Thank you to everyone who helped work on the trail over the past year. There are now better hiking/biking options out of Palmer Lake, including access to the rock domes further up Ice Cave Creek, loop options between the Reservoirs, and longer trips to the cliffs, the plane crash, or the full 13-mile loop!
On 9/13 we will hike one of those loops, and as we go clear away fallen logs and trim back vegetation encroaching on the trail.
Wild Connections is cooperating with this initiative of the Colorado Mountain Club's Denver and Pike's Peak chapters. We aim to work with a diversity of stakeholders in determining how best to protect this special area on the eastern Rampart Range while also being conscious of others needs.
Badger Flats Non-system Routes Closures
OHV on authorized route. Photo Jean Smith
Located west of Lake George, Badger Flats lies between Lost Creek Wilderness and Farnum Roadless Area. The extensive network of user-created routes is destroying native vegetation and fragmenting local wildlife habitat. Volunteers and staff from Colorado Mountain Club, Great Old Broads for Wilderness and Wild Connections work with the South Platte Ranger District to address wildlife habitat degradation by inventorying, closing and rehabilitating non-system roads and trails. Monthly work days are scheduled throught the summer and fall.