The election results put a bright light on the horizon for our work to protect public lands and our climate. In January 2021, Colorado will have two U.S. senators who are strong public lands champions and recognize the importance of addressing the climate crisis. Former Governor John Hickenlooper has been an ardent supporter of the CORE Act, and he made his commitment to pass it one of his key campaign messages. And Hickenlooper’s support for locally grown initiatives to protect public lands is not new. As governor he supported efforts to protect the Thompson Divide and the North Fork Valley [...]
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Oct. 29, 2020 Denver, Colo. — The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today blocked further construction for a coal-mine expansion in the Sunset roadless area of Colorado’s Gunnison National Forest. The injunction prevents Mountain Coal, a subsidiary of Arch Resources, from further destruction of the roadless forest at the base of Mount Gunnison in the West Elk Mountains until a challenge from conservation groups is resolved. The Sunset roadless area is prime wildlife habitat adjacent to Mount Gunnison and the West Elk Wilderness Area. The roadless designation protects 5,800 acres of pristine aspen forests and giant spruce that provide habitat for goshawks, [...]
Dec. 1, 2020 Today, a coalition of conservation organizations filed a complaint in federal court challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (the Service’s) decision to forgo recovery planning for threatened Canada lynx. Recovery plans are important tools required by the Endangered Species Act, often referred to as the “roadmap” for conservation because they spell out what the agency needs to do to recover a species and how best to do it. Recovery plans also include metrics that must be met before the Service may deem a species recovered. In 2013, conservation organizations sued the Service for failing to prepare [...]
Colorado Agency Caves to U.S. Forest Service, OKs More Bulldozing of Roadless Forest Mountain Coal Ignored Court Ruling, Forest Service Failed to Act
Sept. 18, 2020 Denver, Colo. — Conservation groups urged a federal court today to halt further construction in a protected roadless area of the Gunnison National Forest. Today’s motion for expedited consideration came after Colorado officials modified an order late yesterday to no longer prevent Mountain Coal Company from using an illegally bulldozed road and carving more drill pads into the roadless area. Yesterday’s action from the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety likely means construction work can resume, despite a March court order banning road building in the Sunset roadless area. In June, Mountain Coal cleared a nearly mile-long [...]
Sept. 15, 2020 Denver, Colo. – Public land conservation groups filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado today challenging the Trump administration’s land use plan for the Uncompahgre region. The plan opens vast areas of western Colorado, including the North Fork Valley, to oil and gas drilling while failing to protect wilderness quality public lands, wildlife habitat and other natural resources. Senator Michael Bennet has committed to working with the community on a path forward in the wake of the widely denounced Trump decision. The highly controversial final plan led to administrative protests being filed [...]
September 2, 2020 Late last week, a Federal District Court in Colorado ruled that thousands of acres of oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide properly expired nearly a decade ago. This is just one of many leasing related battles that Wilderness Workshop (WW) and the Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) have engaged in to protect the Divide over the years. The ruling confirms that more than 8,500 acres of oil and gas leases in the Divide no longer exist. The Thompson Divide is a complex of inventoried roadless areas on the White River National Forest that provides important [...]
Aug. 27, 2020 Carbondale, Colo. — A group of recreation and public land organizations partnered this past weekend to improve the trail system in the Hay Park Area at the base of Mount Sopris. The work was a partnership between the White River National Forest, Wilderness Workshop, Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association, Roaring Fork Valley Horse Council, and Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers. The groups completed restoration work to close an unauthorized route that led into the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area. They also improved the northernmost section of the Buzzard Basin Trail, which allows for a loop on the Capitol Creek [...]
What do you get when a horse, a shovel and a team of people wearing face masks walk into the forest? Trail restoration! This past weekend, we partnered the White River National Forest, Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association, Roaring Fork Valley Horse Council, and Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers to improve the trail system in the Hay Park Area at the base of Mount Sopris. We completed restoration work to close an unauthorized route that led into the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area, and improved the northernmost section of the Buzzard Basin Trail, which allows for a loop on the Capitol [...]
25 Ways to Explore Public Lands this Summer Wilderness Workshop’s pandemic-friendly hikes, restoration projects and workshops will still get people outdoors
July 6, 2020 Carbondale, Colo. — This summer Wilderness Workshop is hosting 25 opportunities to enjoy the region’s public lands through hikes, restoration projects and workshops, all led by experts. The series also includes Latinx programming through the nonprofit’s Defiende Nuestra Tierra. Some highlights from the series include the 5-mile Hogback Hike near Rifle, which ascends Bureau of Land Management lands to views of the Colorado River Valley, and the less-traveled Hack Lake Hike in the Flattops. The series also includes popular events from previous years, like the Mushroom Walk, a photography workshop, and an evening hike to explore the [...]
Your "Vote for Public Lands" Guide We’re in the final countdown to Election Day. Are you ready? We’ve compiled a checklist for voting to get you—and your loved ones—prepped for Nov. 3. We’re a conservation organization and, like you, we care deeply about protecting our public lands. We know there are a lot of issues to consider when casting your vote, but please remember to vote with our wild places in mind. We don’t get a second chance when it comes to protecting our planet. ❱ Register to vote. In Colorado, you can register to vote in-person through [...]