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Wilderness and Backcountry Management Plan

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park » Wilderness and Backcountry Management Plan » Document List

The National Park Service (NPS) invites you to review and comment on three alternatives that will be evaluated during the development of a Wilderness and Backcountry Management Plan (Plan) and Environmental Assessment (EA) for Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (Black Canyon NP) and Curecanti National Recreation Area (Curecanti NRA). The NPS released a Plan and EA for public review in September of 2011. The completion of that Plan was temporarily suspended while the NPS deliberated its response to public comments received during the review period. It is with great pleasure that we now release a modified set of alternatives that take those public comments into consideration.

Black Canyon NP and Curecanti NRA include high-quality wilderness and backcountry resources and experiences with increasing demand for some activities. Potential expanded recreational opportunities require planning with the user public to ensure the future availability of these high-quality experiences and resources.

The three alternatives available for your review and comment include:

1) Alternative A (No-Action): The NPS would continue existing management without implementation of the Plan. Current management direction and prevailing conditions derived from existing planning documents would continue. Appropriate and allowable uses and restrictions pertaining to activities would remain the same. The no-action does not imply or direct discontinuance of the present action or removing existing uses, developments, or facilities;

2) Alternative B (Preferred Alternative): The preferred alternative presents management strategies and options for meeting the purpose and need of the proposed action and defines the rationale for the action in terms of resource protection and management, visitor and operational use, and other applicable factors. The preferred alternative describes the implementation of the Plan's comprehensive approach to wilderness management that is based on maintaining or improving wilderness character in the Black Canyon NP Wilderness area and maintaining or improving backcountry quality in Curecanti NRA.

This alternative authorizes necessary and appropriate commercial services in the Gunnison Gorge and Uplands Wilderness Zones and allows for the authorization of commercial climbing services in portions of the Inner Canyon Wilderness Zone of Black Canyon NP. It also authorizes necessary and appropriate commercial services in the Blue Mesa and East Portal Morrow Point Zones of Curecanti NRA;

3) Alternative C: This alternative is the same as Alternative B in every way except that it eliminates commercial climbing services in the Inner Canyon Wilderness Zone of Black Canyon NP.

You are invited to review a detailed description of each alternative. Please help us save paper and view the document and submit your comments at the NPS Park Planning Web Site: under "Projects with Documents Open for Comment" look for Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park...Wilderness and Backcountry Management Plan/Environmental Assessment. Please provide comments by March 21, 2016.

Alternatively, you can request a hardcopy and/or submit written comments to:

Wilderness Coordinator
Black Canyon NP/Curecanti NRA
102 Elk Creek
Gunnison, CO 81230


E-mail: (Subject: Wilderness Plan)

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, you should be aware that your entire comment - including your personal identifying information - may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.


Bruce Noble

Black Canyon NP/Curecanti NRA

Contact Information
Wilderness Coordinator
National Park Service
Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP, Curecanti NRA
102 Elk Creek
Gunnison, CO 81230
970-641-3127 (fax)
E-mail: (Subject: Wilderness Plan)