|Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area|
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Aerial View of Ute Park, GGNCA
|Location||Delta County / Montrose County, Colorado, USA|
|Nearest city||Montrose, Colorado|
|Area||62,844 acres (254.32 km2)|
|Governing body||Bureau of Land Management|
The Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area is a 62,844-acre (254.32 km2) National Conservation Area located in west-central Colorado near Montrose. It is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as part of the National Landscape Conservation System. 57,725 acres (233.60 km2) were designated in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-76). The Black Canyon of the Gunnison Boundary Revision Act of 2003 (PL 108-78) expanded the NCA to its current size.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior responsible for administering public lands. With oversight over 247.3 million acres (1,001,000 km2), it governs one eighth of the country's landmass. President Harry S. Truman created the BLM in 1946 by combining two existing agencies: the General Land Office and the Grazing Service. The agency manages the federal government's nearly 700 million acres (2,800,000 km2) of subsurface mineral estate located beneath federal, state and private lands severed from their surface rights by the Homestead Act of 1862. Most BLM public lands are located in these 12 western states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Montrose County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 41,276. The county seat is Montrose, for which the county is named.
The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) is a United States national monument that originally designated 1,880,461 acres (7,610 km2) of protected land in southern Utah in 1996. The monument's size was later reduced by a succeeding presidential proclamation in 2017. The land is among the most remote in the country; it was the last to be mapped in the contiguous United States.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is an American national park located in western Colorado and managed by the National Park Service. There are two primary entrances to the park: the south rim entrance is located 15 miles (24 km) east of Montrose, while the north rim entrance is 11 miles (18 km) south of Crawford and is closed in the winter. The park contains 12 miles (19 km) of the 48-mile (77 km) long Black Canyon of the Gunnison River. The national park itself contains the deepest and most dramatic section of the canyon, but the canyon continues upstream into Curecanti National Recreation Area and downstream into Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area. The canyon's name owes itself to the fact that parts of the gorge only receive 33 minutes of sunlight a day, according to Images of America: The Black Canyon of the Gunnison. In the book, author Duane Vandenbusche states, "Several canyons of the American West are longer and some are deeper, but none combines the depth, sheerness, narrowness, darkness, and dread of the Black Canyon."
The Powderhorn Wilderness is a 62,050-acre (251.1 km2) wilderness area in Hinsdale and Gunnison Counties, Colorado, USA, located 5 miles (8.0 km) northeast of Lake City. Most of the northern part of the area, 48,115 acres (194.71 km2), about 77.5%, is located on Bureau of Land Management land and its southern portion, 13,935 acres (56.39 km2), about 22.5%, is located within the Gunnison National Forest.
The Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area has one of the densest populations of nesting raptors. The National Conservation Area (NCA) is located 35 miles (56 km) south of Boise, Idaho along 81 miles (130 km) of the Snake River, and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The NCA covers 484,873 acres (1,962.21 km2). In descending order of land area it is located in Ada, Elmore, Owyhee, and Canyon counties.
National Conservation Lands, formally known as the National Landscape Conservation System, is a 35-million-acre (140,000 km2) collection of lands in 873 federally recognized areas considered to be the crown jewels of the American West. These lands represent 10% of the 258 million acres (1,040,000 km2) managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM is the largest federal public land manager and is responsible for over 40% of all the federal public land in the nation. The other major federal public land managers include the US Forest Service (USFS), National Park Service (NPS), and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
The Beaver Dam Mountains Wilderness is a wilderness area located in northwestern Arizona and southwestern Utah, USA, within the arid Colorado Plateau region. The jagged mountains and gently sloping alluvial plain of the Beaver Dam Mountains straddle the border between the two states. The Wilderness contains some of the lowest elevation land in Utah, and includes a 13 miles (21 km) section of the Virgin River Gorge. The area comprises some 18,667 acres (7,554 ha), 15,000 acres (6,100 ha) of which in Arizona and approximately 3,667 acres (1,484 ha) in Utah. The area was designated Wilderness by the U.S. Congress in 1984 and is administered by the Bureau of Land Management.
The Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness (BRCW) is located in western Colorado with a small portion extending into eastern Utah, USA, within the arid Colorado Plateau region approximately 15 miles (24 km) west of Grand Junction, Colorado. The wilderness lies on the northwest flank of the Uncompahgre Plateau. It is characterized by the high, east-west trending Black Ridge dissected by seven major canyon systems, draining into the Colorado River in Ruby Canyon. Elevations range from 4,700 feet (1,400 m) above sea level along the river to 6,800 feet (2,070 m). Canyons vary in length from several miles to twelve miles in length and may contain interesting side canyons. Geological features in these canyons include spires, windows, giant alcoves and desert varnish. Canyons may reach a depth of almost 1,000 feet (300 m), forming spectacular redrock cliffs. Spring runoff and summer thunderstorms create glistening waterfalls and plunge pools. Rattlesnake Canyon contains the second largest concentration of natural arches in the country. Mee Canyon is even more remote, and contains Arch Tower.
The McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area (MCNCA) is a 123,400-acre (499 km2) National Conservation Area located in Mesa County, west of Grand Junction, Colorado. The MCNCA has rugged sandstone canyons, natural arches, spires, and alcoves carved into the Colorado Plateau, through which runs a 24-mile (39 km) stretch of the Colorado River. Included in the MCNCA is the 75,500-acre (306 km2) Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness (BRCW) with 5,200 acres (21 km2) extending into eastern Grand County, Utah at the MCNCA's western boundary.
The Black Rock Desert–High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area is the federal land in northwestern Nevada, under the Bureau of Land Management-BLM management and protection, and the ten Wilderness Areas within it.
The Black Rock Desert Wilderness is a U S Wilderness Area in Nevada under the Bureau of Land Management. It is located in the east arm of the Black Rock Desert playa east of the Black Rock Range and west of the Jackson Mountains. The wilderness has a land area of 314,829 acres, or 1,274.1 km². It is the largest U.S. designated wilderness area that is managed solely by the Bureau of Land Management, and the largest that is not located within a National Forest, National Park, or National Wildlife Refuge. It is located within the Black Rock Desert – High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, also managed by the BLM.
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) is a conservation ecology program in the Western United States, managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The ACEC program was conceived in the 1976 Federal Lands Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), which established the first conservation ecology mandate for the BLM. The FLPMA mandate directs the BLM to protect important riparian corridors, threatened and endangered species habitats, cultural and archeological resources, as well as unique scenic landscapes that the agency assesses as in need of special management attention.
The Owyhee River Wilderness is located on the high basalt plateaus of Owyhee County in southwestern Idaho in the western United States. The wilderness area is named after and protects the upper Owyhee River, its tributaries, and the surrounding desert canyon landscape. Whitewater rafting is a popular recreational activity in this wilderness area. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, it is the second-largest U.S. Wilderness Area that is not located within a National Forest, National Park, or National Wildlife Refuge. The BLM's Black Rock Desert Wilderness, located within Black Rock Desert – High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, is larger. About 67.3 miles (108.3 km) of the Owyhee River is classified as a wild river.
The Dominguez Canyon Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area located southeast of Grand Junction in western Colorado. The 66,280-acre (268.2 km2) wilderness area established in 2009, the largest BLM roadless area in the state of Colorado, includes two major canyon systems that drain the northeastern corner of the Uncompahgre Plateau. The Wilderness Area is a portion of the larger Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area, 209,610-acre (848.3 km2) in size.
The Gunnison Gorge Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area located immediately northwest of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The 17,784-acre (71.97 km2) wilderness area established in 1999 includes 14 miles (23 km) of the Gunnison River inside the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area.
The Red Cliffs National Conservation Area is a 44,724-acre (180.99 km2) National Conservation Area located in southwest Utah, north of St. George at the northeastern-most edge of the Mojave Desert. It is managed by the Bureau of Land Management as part of the National Landscape Conservation System, and was created as part of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009.
The Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area is a 209,610-acre (848.3 km2) National Conservation Area located in western Colorado southeast of Grand Junction and northwest of Montrose. It is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and was created as part of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. In 2009 66,280 acres (26,820 ha) were also designated as the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness.
The Sabinoso Wilderness is a 16,030 acres (64.9 km2) area in San Miguel County, New Mexico. The US Bureau of Land Management owns and administers the wilderness area. The semi-arid wilderness includes few natural resources but has a diverse geology, as well as a range of plant and animal species.
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