Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act (PAW+)
will work toward the vision of protecting
30% of our nation's public lands and waters by 2030
The U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 26 approved the Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act (HR 803 also known as PAW+) that aims to permanently protect nearly three million acres primarily in Colorado and in Arizona, California, Maine, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, Washington.
The Colorado designations includetheColorado Wilderness Act (CWA) sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette and theColorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act (CORE) co-sponsored by Rep. Joe Neguse and Sen. Michael Bennet.Together both bills protect about 1.6% of the total area of the state.
The Proecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands bill has been sent to the Senate and referred to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
What you can do
Contact our Senators
about the Protecting American's Wilderness and Public Lands Act
and the Colorado Wilderness Act
Especially ask Sen. Bennet and Sen Hickenlooper to co-sponsor the Colorado Wilderness Act. Having our Colorado Senators on board is a critical step
Congresswoman DeGette's Colorado Wilderness Act protects 660,000 acres of wilderness across Colorado and is right in line with President Biden’s recent 30x30 pledge to protect 30% of America’s lands and waters by 2030.
For Wild Connections region, this bill proposes to protect six distinct areas for their wild values, including Beaver Creek, Grape Creek, McIntyre Hills, Table Mountain, Badger Creek, and the Browns Canyon National Monument.
This is a great step in our fight to preserve Colorado’s wilderness for generations to come and work toward the vision of protecting 30% of Colorado's lands and waters by 2030.
Pass the Colorado Wilderness Act Now!
John Sztukowski, Mark Pearson and John Stansfield feature Table Mountain, Sewemup Mesa and Beaver Creek in the video to the left.
CWA areas along the Arkansas River canyon
Table Mountain proposed Wilderness. Photo Kate Spinelli.
Hikers in Browns Canyon. Photo Steven Veach
McIntyre Hills, photo John Fielder
Badger Creek, photo Kate Spinelli
The Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act (CORE)will protect about 400,000 acres of public lands across Colorado to support oppotunities for outdoor recreation and acess to public lands. Designations include Wilderness, Mineral Withdrawal, National Recreation Area, National Historic Landscape and Special Management Areas.
Camp Hale National Historic Landscape will restore and protect the WWII high latitude training site and extensive wetlands. Photo Sierra Club
Click to enlarge the map
National Monuments and Special Designations
Browns Canyon National Monument
Browns Canyon National Monument is a success story for conservation. The area provides critical wildlife habitat, premiere trout fishing and year-round opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Browns Canyon, long renowned for its scenic river canyon and rugged backcountry in the Upper Arkansas River Valley, was designated a National Monument on February 19, 2015 via presidential proclamation, by President Obama. The monument encompasses 21,586 acres, and is co-managed by the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, Bureau of Land Management Director Neil Kornze, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, Governor John Hickenlooper, Former U.S. Senator Mark Udall, State and Local Officials, and many other citizens celebrated the designation in July 2015.
Explore and enjoy this stunning area that defines Colorado’s outdoor legacy today and into the future.
Next best thing to being there...
Enjoy these pictures taken by John Stansfield, Steve Valimaki, Kurt Kunkle, Friends of Browns Canyon and Conservation Colorado
Presidential Proclamation Describes Natural and Cultural Values
Perhaps there is more to Browns Canyon than you thought. The President's Proclamation begins with this:
"In central Colorado's vibrant upper Arkansas River valley, the rugged granite cliffs, colorful rock outcroppings, and stunning mountain vistas of Browns Canyon form an iconic landscape that attracts visitors from around the world. The landscape's canyons, rivers, and backcountry forests have provided a home for humans for over 10,000 years, and the cultural and historical resources found in this landscape are a testament to the area's Native Peoples as well as the history of more recent settlers and mining communities. The area's unusual geology and roughly 3,000-foot range in elevation support a diversity of plants and wildlife, including a significant herd of bighorn sheep. Browns Canyon harbors a wealth of scientifically significant geological, ecological, riparian, cultural, and historic resources, and is an important area for studies of paleoecology, mineralogy, archaeology, and climate change."
The Proclamation then continues with a detailed description of its location at the northern end of the Rio Grande Rift System, Native Americans who frequented the area for hunting and ceremonies, European exploration, mining, geology, plant diversity, and animals found there - a treasure trove of nature and culture. The concluding sections outline some of the restrictions and permissions that apply to the new monument.
Surface scatter and other archeological artifacts are found in several sites in the Monument. Photo John Stansfield.
The formation known as The Reef is exposed in Stafford Gulch, one of many steep gulches excised in the 1.6 billion-year-old Precambrian batholith of the larger Canyon. Photo John Stansfield
Florissant Fossile Beds National Monument
Beneath a grassy mountain valley in central Colorado lies one of the richest and most diverse fossil deposits in the world. Petrified redwood stumps up to 14 feet wide and thousands of detailed fossils of insects and plants reveal the story of a very different, prehistoric Colorado.
The geology, fossils, and human stories of Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument are part of a common geologic heritage. The layers of rock beneath this valley contain one of the richest fossil deposits in the world. They hold clues of unexpected environments and life that existed here during a time called the late Eocene.
The South Park National Heritage Area (SPNHA) was designated by Congress in 2009. The Park County Department of Heritage and Tourism works with the Park County Historic Preservation Advisory Commission (PCHPAC) and the South Park National Heritage Area Board and Office of Recreation Development to responsibly manage the heritage area.
This nearly 1,800 square mile region contains both historic and prehistoric resources that have stood the test of time and tell a captivating story of generations of people within this landscape. A large part of the region's heritage is deeply connected to agriculture and ranching but the heritage area also features historic railroad sites, historic mining structures, and historic hotels along with natural and recreational areas. There was once a gold-bearing area in South Park, but today you can harness its riches by participating in one of its priceless educational programs
Wild Connections' mission is to identify, protect, and restore wildlands, native species, and biological diversity in the Arkansas and South Platte watersheds.
They are the ancestral lands of the Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho and other indigenous peoples.