Say No to Mining at Grape Creek Proposed Wilderness!
CO State Land Board Meeting
Thrusday, March 14, 2019
NOW April 11, 2019 8:00 - 10:00 AM (Estimated Times) 1127 Sherman St, Denver, CO
The Colorado Stand Land Board (SLB) has decided to recommend allowing mining on the Grape Creek-Horseshoe Mountain State Stewardship Trust parcel, part of the Grape Creek proposed Wilderness, justsouthwest ofCañonCity.
Grape Creek State Stewardship Trust Land. Photo John Sztukowski
The SLB designated this Stewardship Trust parcel in 1998, nominated by strong supporters, Wild Connections and The Sierra Club. Under State Land Board policy, the Director “shall review and evaluate whether the new use will adversely affect the natural values of the property.”
SLB Stewardship Trust Land allows "only those uses that will protect and enhance the beauty, natural values, open space and wildlife habitat of those lands," except for pre-existing uses or management practices.
Grape Creek’s pristine waters and downstream water supplies, including the Arkansas River, are at risk from mining activity. Mining for gold and other minerals is not compatible with sound stewardship of this land. Through the processes of mapping, surface sampling, ground exploration, drilling, and, if the mining is approved, road building, tunneling, and massive mine waste disposal, there is no way that the land's identified natural values can survive.
The Colorado State Land Board had put this item on theirThursday, March, 14, 2019 meeting agenda in Denver, however due to sever weather forecasts and associated concerns from the public, the New Mineral Use at Grape Creek issue has been postponed until their April 11,2019. The exact timeframe will be unknown until their board meeting agenda is released on April 3. For reference, the board meeting will begin at 8:00 AM, and the discussion of the mining lease at Grape Creek would have started between 9:00 and 9:30 AM had it remained in the March meeting agenda.
So put April 11 on your calendar! We need you to attend this meeting! Tell the Colorado State Land Board that this important wildlife area and watershed needs to be protected! There is no advance registration required. Please be on time and sign-in.
The Grape Creek - Horseshoe Mountain Stewardship Trust Parcel not only has many characteristics worthy of protection, it is also within a greater landscape of wildlife habitat, designations, and proposals.
Located within the 35,535-acre Grape Creek Proposed Wilderness, part of Congresswoman Diana DeGette's2018 Colorado Wilderness Act, and states “Grape Creek is a secluded and serene body of water that flows into the Wet Mountain Valley of southern Colorado. This creek is responsible for nearly all the snowmelt that comes through this valley, creating a lush habitat with diverse vegetation and wildlife... These factors create a pristine environment that is a haven for both fish and fisherman alike, a true example of sustainable Colorado recreation."
Located withinColorado Natural Heritage Program'sGrape Creek Potential Conservation Area, which has a very high biodiversity significance for "encompassing an excellent and a good occurrence of a globally imperiled riparian natural community, narrowleaf cottonwood - Rocky Mountain juniper woodland. Additionally, there is a good occurrence of the globally vulnerable narrowleaf cottonwood - Douglas-fir woodland and a good to fair occurrence of the apparently globally secure but state imperiled Rocky Mountain juniper / Red-osier dogwood woodland. Several fair occurrences of a globally imperiled plant, Arkansas Canyon stickleaf (Nuttallia densa), have also been documented."
Adjacent to BLM's 21,400-acre Grape Creek Wilderness Study Areaon three sides, which"varies from rocky, rolling hills to steep, rugged canyons and mountains. The predominant feature is Horseshoe Mountain."
This area contains high habitat and range for several wildlife species, including Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, black bear, mule deer, mountain lion,various small mammals, trout, and various species of raptors, including bald eagles.
Proposed Mining Lease at Grape Creek Map, by Rocky Mountain Wild's Alison Gallensky.
These funds will go directly towards a crucial project of climate change science research on our local public lands, how climate change may affect local flora and fauna, and what we can do to protect vulnerable species and wildlife corridors in the face of a changing landscape due to climate.
Support the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act!
Click the photo for more info on The CORE Act
Colorado US Senator Michael Bennet and Congressman Joe Neguse recently introduced the Colorado Recreation & Economy (CORE) Act!
The CORE Act unites 4 previously introduce bill and will protect nearly 400,000 acres of Colorado public lands, including establishing 73,000 acres of new wilderness areas!
This Act unites and improves 4 previously introduced bills: The Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness and Camp Hale Legacy Act, the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act, the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act, and the Curecanti National Recreation Area Boundary Establishment Act.
2019 State of the Rockies Conservation in the West Poll
is now available!
2019 State of the Rockies Colorado Fact Sheet.
Colorado College's 9th annual State of the Rockies Conservation in the West poll was just released!
The survey polled registered voters from the 8 Rocky Mountain States. Voters responded to questions concerning climate, energy, outdoor recreation, water, wildlife, the role of government, trade-offs with economies, and citizen priorities.
You can find all of their outstanding 2019 findings and reports at: