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BLM’s Cooper Mountain is a large and diverse 20,000+ acre area, bounded by the historic Gold Belt Byways of Phantom Canyon Road and Shelf Road between Cañon City and Cripple Creek. Recreation is popular to the west in the Garden Park/Oil Well Flats area off of Shelf Road, an area also protected for its nationally renowned paleontological sites. Cooper Mountain offers excellent opportunities for solitude and backcountry experiences. Established trails from either side of the mountain take you from the arid canyon terrain through mixed-forests, to high elevation grasslands. Take in views of Pikes Peak, the Wet Mountains, or the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from the buttes and lookouts atop Cooper Mountain. Cooper Mountain’s rugged topography, but also diverse ecosystems, support many wildlife species, including Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, mountain lion, swift fox, black bear, elk, deer, and pronghorn, not to mention valuable bird species such as the American peregrine falcon, bald eagle, golden eagle, scaled quail, great blue heron, and Mexican spotted owl habitat. BLM documented this rugged natural landscape for its #landswithwildernesscharacteristics , however most of this wild area is currently unprotected. We need your voice of support for Cooper Mountain and similar wild areas in BLM’s upcoming Eastern Colorado Draft plan revision, coming October 2018, with a 90-day public comment period. Stay tuned next week as we continue to highlight BLM RGFO’s most awesome wild areas worthy of administrative protections. @mypubliclands #seeblm  #yourpubliclands  #blmwild 

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