Wilderness and Backcountry Management Plan
The National Park Service (NPS) is making available for public review a Wilderness and Backcountry Management Plan (the Plan) and Environmental Assessment (not using EA as an acronym in the Plan) for Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (NP) and Curecanti National Recreation Area (NRA) located in west-central Colorado. The evaluates the no-action alternative, in which case the NPS could continue existing management without implementation of the Plan. The no-action alternative does not imply or direct discontinuance of the present action or removing existing uses, developments, or facilities. The Environmental Assessment also evaluates the preferred alternative, which describes the implementation of the Plan's comprehensive approach to wilderness management that is based on maintaining or improving wilderness character in Black Canyon Wilderness Area and maintaining or improving backcountry quality in Curecanti NRA.
The Plan proposes a proactive approach to preservation of the unique wilderness or backcountry qualities of both park units. Wilderness and backcountry management zones have been developed for the Plan that provide descriptions about the desired conditions for wilderness character and define visitor opportunities and management approaches to maintain or improve conditions in each area of Black Canyon NP and Curecanti NRA wilderness and backcountry. Specific actions under the Plan include the use of an access permit system and set of measures and standards to adaptively manage the system, changes the primitive zone camping requirements and methods to address human waste, proposes new trails in the uplands of both park units, defines the role of commercial guides and services in the wilderness and backcountry areas, modifies and adopts the interim climbing management plan, and provides specific guidance to park managers when making decisions affecting the wilderness to ensure those decisions are consistent with the Wilderness Act.
You are invited to review the Plan and Environmental Assessment. To view plan online, go to the "Open For Public Comment" link on the left. You may also submit your comments electronically at this website. There is also an interactive map of proposed trails and management zones at the following link:
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
NOTE: The correct email address to remain on the mailing list is:
Comments on the plan should be submitted on this website by clicking "Comment on document", and not on BLCA_BackcountryPlan@nps.gov.
Ken Stahlnecker, Chief, Resource Stewardship and Science
National Park Service
Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP, Curecanti NRA102 Elk Creek
Gunnison, CO 81230