Colorado River District is convening a meeting of water interests in the Gunnison basin to answer questions regarding the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act

A picture named doloresrivercanyon

Here’s the release from the Colorado River District (Dave Kanzer/Chris Treese):

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Uncompahgre Field Office (UFO) recently completed a Wild and Scenic Rivers Eligibility Study for the streams and rivers within the UFO’s management area. This study was completed as part of the field office’s update of its Resource Management Plan. The Federal Land Policy and Management Act requires completion of a Wild & Scenic River study when Federal agencies revise their land use plans. The Eligibility Report and an executive summary are available at the UFO’s web site: www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/ufo/wild_and_scenic_river.html

The Eligibility Report identifies 33 segments on 22 streams and rivers as eligible for designation under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

The BLM-UFO is beginning the second phase of its Wild and Scenic River study. Called the “suitability analysis,” this analysis is the process of further evaluating each segment identified as eligible in order to develop management plans and possible recommendation for addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers system for each segment.

During the initial stage of the suitability process, the BLM will be evaluating a number of suitability criteria such as manageability, land ownership, usage tradeoffs and conflicts, usage levels, and alternative methods for protecting the values that led to the initial eligibility determination.

In cooperation with the UFO, the Colorado River District is convening a meeting of water interests in the Gunnison basin to answer questions regarding the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, to provide additional information on the suitability analysis and its implications, and to determine the group’s interest in exploring consensus management recommendations that provide use and management flexibility while protecting the resource values that qualified river segments as eligible. (NOTE: This effort is limited to the portions of the UFO and Dominguez-Escalante NCA in the Gunnison/Uncompahgre basin and will only be considering streams and rivers within that watershed.) As an interested stakeholder you are invited and encouraged to attend an initial informational and organizational meeting. Your input is critical to developing a thorough draft suitability analysis and to determining stakeholders’ willingness to explore development of consensus recommendations regarding some or all of the stream and river segments identified as eligible.

The meeting will be held:
Date: September 1, 2010
Time: 2:00 – 4:30
Location: Bill Heddles Recreation Center, Delta, CO

To ensure adequate seating please RSVP to Meredith at the River District office at 970 945 -8522, ext. 221 or email mspyker@crwcd.org

To ensure full representation of all interests in Gunnison basin water matters, please pass this invitation along to anyone you believe may be interested in attending.

More Colorado River Basin coverage here.

Leave a Reply