Friday, July 27, 2012

Conservation Chronicles July 2012

Welcome to the July Conservation Chronicles, the monthly e-news digest of CMC Conservation.  We seek to provide meaningful opportunities for CMC members and the public to engage in conservation advocacy and stewardship projects. I hope you'll be inspired to take action in some way, whether by sending an email to a policymaker, writing a letter to the editor of your local paper, or signing up on one of our volunteer service stewardship projects. Policymakers truly listen to CMC members because we know these lands almost better than anyone. Specific comments about how you value protection of specific places that you've hiked or climbed in are tremendously helpful and given more credence. Together, we are working to keep Colorado beautiful, protect its lands and waters, and give back to places that have enriched our lives.

For the mountains,
Scott Braden
Conservation Director

Protecting Wild Places - Make Your Voice Heard
Lake Irwin and Ruby Peak in Gunnison County. Photo by Scott Braden
Central Rocky Mountains - Senator Mark Udall is still collecting public input on the possible designation of wilderness for up to 32 areas in Pitkin, Summit and Eagle counties.  It is important that the Senator receive a clear signal for public support for protection of these important mid-elevation lands that are critical wildlife habitat and popular for human-powered recreation. Please comment and view proposal maps at 

Browns Canyon - Sen. Udall is also listening to public input for protecting Browns Canyon of the Arkansas River.  The proposal includes designation of a National Monument for about 32,000 acres with an additional wilderness designation within that boundary.  Maps of the proposal and the public comment form can be found at 

Hermosa Creek - Last week Senator Michael Bennet introduced the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act.  This bill would protect 108,000 acres as a Special Management Area, including designation of 37,236 acres of wilderness.  This large, roadless area is part of the San Juan National Forest, just northwest of Durango.  Maps, text of the legislation and public comment form is found at 

Gunnison County - Sen. Bennet is also beginning to solicit input on a possible lands protection bill for Gunnison County. It's early in the process and there is no bill or maps yet.  But let the Senator know what places you value protecting in this vast county that includes Crested Butte, Kebler and McClure Passes and Marble.

CMC Stewardship Trips
CMC StewardshipFour Pass Loop Trail Work
The Colorado Mountain Club will work with USFS White River National Forest and Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteer staff to repair heavily used and eroding trails at Buckskin and Willow Passes. Open to the public, but backpacking experience is required.

Ophir Fen Restoration
The Colorado Mountain Club will work with Mountain Studies Institute, San Juan Citizens Alliance, USFS, and Durango Mountain Resorts to restore wetlands disturbed during historic mining activities. Planting and erosion control. Open to the public. Car camping.

Beaver Brook Trail Maintenance
Did you know that both CMC and Denver Mountain Parks are celebrating their Centennials in 2012? Join the CMC and Denver Mountain Parks to work on maintaining this awesome Front Range trail overlooking Clear Creek Canyon. Open to the public. Lunch provided!
Sand Wash Basin Restoration
CMC returns to Moffat County to celebrate National Public Lands Day with the Bureau of Land Management and a local equestrian club. Assist with trail work and clean up of Sand Wash. Sand Wash Basin is surrounded by ridges and mesas and is home to a herd of wild horses.Open to the public. Car camping.

Access Updates
Arestua Hut 
Proposed Eldora Ski Resort Expansion
We have learned that the Eldora expansion plan has been modified from the 2011 Master Plan. This modification will have significant impacts on the Jenny Creek Trail and the access to the Arestua Hut. See the map of the proposed Eldora expansion:
If you look near the top of the map, the proposed ski area expansion significantly overlays the Jenny Creek trail. This could have impacts to access to the Jenny Creek drainage and the Arestua hut. It's not clear that Eldora has plans to mitigate these access concerns. The public feedback period for the Eldora expansion, which ends on August 6th. You can learn more about the process and give feedback at the Forest Service website: We strongly encourage your feedback to the Forest Service by August 6th.
Crestone/Cottonwood Creek Trail
The Cottonwood Creek Trail south of the town of Crestone, and the historic west side pathway to the Crestones & other peaks, is open for the summer. Prospective climbers are asked to contact the manager of the Baca Grande Water & Sanitation District, Steve Harrell ( in advance of arrival. Since the available parking is on Water/San property, they need to know who is climbing in case there is a need for search/rescue service. He can also update climbers in case something changes later in the summer. Continue Reading....