The state of Colorado currently provides public hunting and fishing access on a mere 20 percent of its state trust lands, or approximately 500,000 of 3 million acres. This represents the lowest level of public access offered on state trust land in any state in the West.
Of the other 80 percent, much of the best hunting and fishing is leased to the highest bidder for exclusive recreational access, locking out most sportsmen. Contrast this with our federal public lands, nearly all of which are open to any sportsman with a valid license and a passion for adventure.
From 2018–2020, the Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) will work with the RGCT Conservation Team partners to elevate and accelerate conservation for RGCT in the Pecos River Basin in New Mexico and Sand Creek drainage of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range (Rio Grande Headwaters GMU) in Colorado, by securing partners and the financial resources to implement projects that increase the number of populations and occupied stream miles of this unique fish while supporting community-based outreach and education opportunities.
Through the Mule Deer Foundation Stewardship Program and in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management, the Copper Spur Habitat Enhancement project will improve sagebrush habitat for Sage Grouse and Big Game within this Colorado area.
The Copper Spur treatment consists of treating 456 acres of pinyon-juniper trees that have overtime encroached on valuable sagebrush shrublands. With this habitat enhancement, mule deer, sage grouse and other big game animals will be provided vegetation in which they can flourish.
From a single small stream (Bear Creek near Colorado Springs) where remnant greenback cutthroat trout were rediscovered, Colorado’s state fish is now being restored to various lakes and streams across its historic range in the South Platte.
basin + bend provided funds for a restoration project in the Tarryall headwaters, where Colorado TU is partnering with the US Forest Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and a local ranch owner on a program to restore greenback cutthroat trout in a connected “metapopulation” spanning Rock Creek and its tributary Black Canyon.
Hunting for Sustainability was launched in 2016 by Backcountry Hunters & Anglers as a way to spur new, conservation-minded hunters and anglers while also engaging with college students who already hunt and fish, and it's expanding to a state near you.
BHA’s Hunting for Sustainability addresses the challenge some would-be hunters experience as they attempt to break into the sport, offering novices a hands-on weekend of learning guided by seasoned hunters and other experts.
American Rivers is bringing together grassroots partners, individuals and businesses in a united campaign for wild rivers, in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 2018.
Their goal is to protect 5,000 miles of new Wild and Scenic Rivers and one million acres of riverside lands nationwide. basin + bend helped to push protection for Deep Creek, the only other river in Colorado to be "suitable" for Wild and Scenic designation.
Right now, The BLM’s Royal Gorge field office has proposed 122,000 acres of Backcountry Conservation Areas in its Resource Management Plan (RMP) revision. These lands offer some of the best hunting and fishing opportunities, and fish and wildlife habitat, in the field office.
Sportsmen must get involved and make themselves heard in order to sustain their public lands hunting and fishing traditions.
WRC is has acquired two private ranches which will conserve 18,349 acres along four miles of the Rio Grande and a crucial reach of the Conejos River. Their efforts will preserve an important stretch of the Rio Grande in an area that has lost significant fish and wildlife habitat, as well as gain much needed public access.