Badger Creek is one of few perennial streams in the rugged Arkansas River Canyonlands. A hike
along this vegetated creek illustrates the great amount of life that this watershed supports: from
vulnerable riparian plant communities, aquatic insects and brook trout, to deer, bighorn sheep
and mountain lions, to bald eagles, Mexican spotted owls and wild turkeys.
This incredible BLM #landswithwildernesscharacteristics reaches over 11,000 feet, atop Jack Hall
Mountain, one of the highest peaks in the area and few spots you can find bristlecone pine trees in the region. This BLM peak offers breathtaking views of Bighorn Sheep Canyon below and the
scenic Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Wilderness across the Arkansas River.
Badger Creek headwaters begin in the adjacent USFS National Forest, and along with this
#BLMWild area, form over 25,000 acres of intact wilderness, which was just proposed in
@RepDianaDeGette’s Colorado Wilderness Act. #COWilderness2018
However, this important and wild area is currently unprotected. Badger Creek North is more
than deserving of protection and needs your voice in BLM RGFO’s upcoming draft plan.
Stay tuned for next week for a look at Badger Creek South, as we continue to highlight the wildest
areas in BLM RGFO, in anticipation of their draft plan revision, expected to be released in October
2018 with a 90-day public comment period.
We had a great time at Burro Days this weekend in South Park! A lot of locals and front rangers alike are excited for our upcoming South Park Alpine Restoration Project (Aug 17-19 & Sep 8-9) with the #usfs South Park Ranger District. You can volunteer with us too! For more info, see www.wildconnections.org #burrodays#mypubliclands
Bear Mountain, located in the heart of Bighorn Sheep Canyon in the Arkansas River Canyonlands, is BLM Royal Gorge Field Office’s (RGFO) most recent area recognized for its
#landswithwildernesscharacteristics This rugged and scenic area is worthy of BLM RGFO administrative protections. Not only is it important habitat and connectivity zone for area wildlife like Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, black bear, elk, mule deer, mountain lion, and BLM sensitive species’ Gunnison’s prairie dog, the
cliffs and rock outcroppings provide excellent forage, range, and/or nesting for critical and
valuable birds of prey such as the bald eagle, American peregrine falcon, and Mexican spotted owl.
The Bear Mountain region also supports extraordinary biological features, including the largest
known concentration of the globally imperiled species, the Arkansas Canyon Stickleaf, endemic to
only Chaffee and Fremont Counties.
However, this important area is bookended by motorized areas and illegal motorized
encroachment is a real issue for local flora and fauna. Bear Mountain is deserving of protection
and needs your voice in BLM RGFO’s upcoming draft plan.
Stay tuned for next week, as we continue to highlight the wildest areas in BLM RGFO, in anticipation of their draft plan revision expected later this year.
Our BLM feature this week is Echo Canyon - Table Mountain, one of the wildest and inaccessible BLM areas in Bighorn Sheep Canyon, and also the largest contiguous BLM area managed by the
Royal Gorge Field Office (RGFO), containing over 30,000 acres of
#landswithwildernesscharacteristics . However this area lacks appropriate protections and needs your voice and support when BLM RGFO’s draft plan is released later this year, with a 90-day
public comment period.
The scenic Table Mountain over Echo Canyon can be glimpsed from a drive along US Highway 50,
or better yet, via a raft or kayak on the Arkansas River.
This incredible area is an important wildlife corridor and habitat for many area species, including
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, black bear, elk, mule deer, pronghorn, mountain lion, as well as
iconic and/or endangered bird of prey species such as the bald eagle, American peregrine falcon, and Mexican spotted owl.
We need your voice in support of protecting these still wild places! We will continue
highlighting these important unprotected public lands weekly, in anticipation of BLM RGFO’s draft
plan due out later this year. @mypubliclands #blmwild#seeblm#yourpubliclands
Join us for an exploration of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in central Colorado, featuring Bighorn Sheep Canyon, a vast scenic landscape along the Arkansas River between Salida and Cañon City, CO. This area is predominantly #blm public lands, managed by the Royal Gorge Field Office (RGFO), who is amid a management plan revision, which will affect how these lands will be managed for the foreseeable future. Over the next several weeks we will showcase some of these spectacular local BLM wildlands. Wild Connections and our partners are currently working to gain administrative protections for these special areas. We need your voice to protect these still wild places! @mypubliclands #blmwild#seeblm#yourpubliclands
Thank you Wild Connections and @colorado_trout_unlimited volunteers for finishing restoration of a decommissioned road at Rock Creek, on the edge of the Lost Creek Wilderness. The closure of the badly eroded road and relocation of a portion of the Ben Tyler Trail are part of a project to reintroduce greenback cutthroat trout into Rock Creek. Also special thanks to #usfs South Park Ranger District for directing this project during a particularly hectic fire season. #mypubliclands#coloradowild#restorationproject
Join us this Saturday to USFS Green Mountain in the Rampart Range for a monitoring hike. Come see how Wild Connections’ 2011 project area is revegetating and being reclaimed by nature! More info at www.wildconnections.org #wildcolorado#usfs#mypubliclands
Join Wild Connections and USFS South Park Ranger District this Saturday, June 9, for a fence removal stewardship project. Old barbwire fencing is obstructing migration routes and habitat for local wildlife, including elk, deer, moose, and pronghorn. For more info or to register, visit www.wildconnections.com #coloradowild#usfs#restorationproject#mypubliclands
A BIG thanks to Wild Connections volunteers and USFS South Park Ranger District for making Saturday’s Rock Creek Restoration Project such a great success! And more work is needed to help protect area wildlife and their habitat. Join us July 7-8 for additional volunteer days at Rock Creek, along the edge of the Lost Creek Wilderness. See www.wildconnections.org for this and more great opportunities to get out on your local public lands. Photos @misiballard #usfs#restorationproject#mypubliclands#coloradowild
Thanks for coming out to the March for Science - Denver 2018! Wild Connections was excited to be out there and making new local connections. See our upcoming hikes and events at www.wildconnections.org #marchforscience#marchforsciencedenver
#OurWildForests should remain #roadless and free of heavy timber harvest, whether in Alaska or your own backyard. Thanks for reminding Congress of that: https://wilderness.org/blog/we-stood-america%E2%80%99s-wildest-forests-another-big-fight-horizon
Photo: AK’s Tongass NF, Amy Gulick/amygulick.com
A team of Wild Connections, USFS & @birdconservancyoftherockies are banding #browncappedrosyfinch this week in South Park! Brown-capped Rosy Finch breeding range is almost entirely in CO, however their numbers have declined 95% over the last 50 years. This data will help the Bird Conservancy better understand this alarming decline. More info at: https://birdconservancy.org/sirens-of-the-mountaintops/ Special thanks to Wild Connections’ @misiballard for photos and hosting this event.
Check out The Flume’s article on Wild Connections’ recent meeting hosting the Bird Conservancy in FairPlay to discuss the decline of the Colorado native bird, Brown-capped rosy finch: m.theflume.com/mobile/free_content/article_04457144-1d9a-11e8-82dc-f7218925d7c0.html #wildcolorado#browncappedrosyfinch