|Gunnison National Forest|
Copper Lake Trail, near Crested Butte in Gunnison National Forest
|Location||Colorado, United States|
|Nearest city||Gunnison, CO|
|Area||1,672,136 acres (6,766.89 km2)|
|Established||June 13, 1905|
|Governing body||U.S. Forest Service|
|Website||Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests|
The Gunnison National Forest is a U.S. National Forest covering 1,672,136 acres (2,612.71 sq mi, or 6,766.89 km²) in Mesa, Gunnison, Hinsdale and Saguache Counties in Western part of the U.S. state of Colorado. It borders the White River National Forest to the north, the Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre National Forests to the west, the San Isabel National Forest to the east and the Rio Grande National Forest to south. It lies in parts of five counties. In descending order of land area within the forest they are Gunnison, Saguache, Hinsdale, Delta, and Montrose counties.
The acre is a unit of land area used in the imperial and US customary systems. It is traditionally defined as the area of one chain by one furlong, which is exactly equal to 10 square chains, 1⁄640 of a square mile, or 43,560 square feet, and approximately 4,047 m2, or about 40% of a hectare. Based upon the International yard and pound agreement of 1959, an acre may be declared as exactly 4,046.8564224 square metres.
Delta County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 30,952. The county seat is Delta.
Gunnison County is the fifth-most extensive of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,324. The county seat is Gunnison. The county was named for John W. Gunnison, a United States Army officer and captain in the Army Topographical Engineers, who surveyed for the transcontinental railroad in 1853.
It shares the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness with the White River and San Isabel National Forests, and the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area with the San Isabel National Forest.
The Collegiate Peaks Wilderness is a 168,000-acre (680 km2) area located in central Colorado between Leadville and Buena Vista to the east and Aspen to the west and Crested Butte to the southwest. Most of the area is in the San Isabel and Gunnison National Forests, with a smaller area in the White River National Forest southeast of Aspen. Most of the area is in northwest Chaffee County with smaller portions in Gunnison, Pitkin, and Lake counties.
The forest was created by Theodore Roosevelt on June 13, 1905 as the Cochetopa Forest Reserve, and named after explorer John W. Gunnison. Today it is administered jointly with the Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre National Forests from offices in Delta. There are local ranger district offices located in Gunnison and Paonia.
Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was an American statesman, politician, conservationist, naturalist, and writer who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He served as the 25th vice president from March to September 1901 and as the 33rd governor of New York from 1899 to 1900. As a leader of the Republican Party, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the early 20th century. His face is depicted on Mount Rushmore alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. He is generally ranked in polls of historians and political scientists as one of the five best presidents.
The Grand Mesa National Forest is a U.S. National Forest in Mesa, Delta and Garfield Counties in Western Colorado. It borders the White River National Forest to the north and the Gunnison National Forest to the east. The forest covers most of Grand Mesa and the south part of Battlement Mesa. It has a total area of 346,555 acres. It is managed by the United States Forest Service together with Gunnison National Forest and Uncompahgre National Forest from offices in Delta, Colorado. There are local ranger district offices located in Grand Junction.
Uncompahgre National Forest is a U.S. National Forest covering 955,229 acres in parts of Montrose, Mesa, San Miguel, Ouray, Gunnison, Hinsdale, San Juan, and Delta Counties in western Colorado. Only its headquarters is in Delta County, in the city of Delta. It borders the San Juan National Forest to the south.
There are seven officially designated wilderness areas lying within Gunnison National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Five of them lie partially in neighboring National Forests or on land under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management (as indicated).
A wilderness area is a region where the land is in a natural state; where impacts from human activities are minimal—that is, as a wilderness. It might also be called a wild or natural area. Especially in wealthier, industrialized nations, it has a specific legal meaning as well: as land where development is prohibited by law. Many nations have designated Wilderness Areas, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.
The National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) of the United States protects federally managed wilderness areas designated for preservation in their natural condition. Activity on formally designated wilderness areas is coordinated by the National Wilderness Preservation System. Wilderness areas are managed by four federal land management agencies: the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. The term "wilderness" is defined as "an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain" and "an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions." As of 2019, there are 803 designated wilderness areas, totaling 111,368,221 acres (45,069,120 ha), or about 4.5% of the area of the United States.
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.
San Isabel National Forest is located in central Colorado. The forest contains 19 of the state's 53 fourteeners, peaks over 14,000 feet (4,267 m) high, including Mount Elbert, the highest point in Colorado.
White River National Forest is a National Forest in northwest Colorado. It is named after the White River that passes through its northern section. It is the most visited National Forest in the United States, primarily from users of the twelve ski areas within its boundaries.
The Fossil Ridge Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area located approximately 16 miles (26 km) north of Gunnison, Colorado in the Gunnison National Forest. The 13,992-acre (56.62 km2) wilderness includes Fossil Ridge, a high, exposed ridge of Paleozoic carbonates that contain epeiric sea fossils. Elevations in the wilderness range from 8,880 feet (2,710 m) at Summerville Creek to 13,254 feet (4,040 m) at the summit of Henry Mountain. Elk, deer, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep can be found in the wilderness.
Saguache County is one of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,108. The county seat is Saguache.
Hinsdale County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 843, making it the third-least populous county in Colorado. With a population density of only 0.75 inhabitants per square mile (0.29/km2), it is also the least-densely populated county in Colorado. The county seat and only incorporated municipality in the county is Lake City. The county is named for George A. Hinsdale, a prominent pioneer and former Lieut. Governor of Colorado Territory.
The City of Delta is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Delta County, Colorado, United States. The population was 8,915 at the 2010 census, up from 6,400 at the 2000 census. The United States Forest Service headquarters of the Grand Mesa, Gunnison, and Uncompahgre National Forests are located in Delta.
The Western Slope of Colorado refers to a region of the U.S. state of Colorado incorporating everything in the state west of the Continental Divide, including Moffat, Routt, Hinsdale, Grand, Summit, LaPlata, Montezuma, Dolores, Eagle, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Garfield, Mesa, Delta, Montrose, Gunnison, Ouray, and San Miguel counties and portions of Saguache, Archuleta, Mineral, and San Juan counties. The Colorado River and its tributaries divide the region into north and south at Grand Junction, Colorado. The area has a climate similar to that of the Great Basin.
The Gunnison River is a tributary of the Colorado River, 180 miles (290 km) long,, in the Southwestern state of Colorado. It is the largest tributary of the Colorado River in Colorado, with a mean flow of 2,570 cu ft/s (73 m3/s).
The Uncompahgre River is a tributary of the Gunnison River, approximately 75 mi (121 km) long, in southwestern Colorado in the United States. Lake Como at 12,215 ft (3723m) in northern San Juan County, in the Uncompahgre National Forest in the northwestern San Juan Mountains is the headwaters of the river. It flows northwest past Ouray, Ridgway, Montrose, and Olathe and joins the Gunnison at Confluence Park in Delta.
The Uncompahgre Plateau in western Colorado is a distinctive large uplift part of the Colorado Plateau. Uncompahgre is a Ute Indian word that describes the water: "Dirty Water" or "Rocks that make Water Red".
Colorado's 3rd congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Colorado. The district takes in most of the rural Western Slope in the state's western third, with a tendril in the south taking in the southern portions of the Eastern Plains. It includes the cities of Grand Junction, Durango and Pueblo.
The San Juan National Forest is a U.S. National Forest covering over 1,878,846 acres in western Colorado. The forest occupies land in Archuleta, Conejos, Dolores, Hinsdale, La Plata, Mineral, Montezuma, Rio Grande, San Miguel and San Juan Counties. It borders the Uncompahgre National Forest to the north and the Rio Grande National Forest to the east. The forest covers most of the southern portion of the San Juan Mountains west of the Continental Divide. The forest contains two alpine wilderness areas; the Weminuche and South San Juan, as well as the Piedra Area. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad passes through the National Forest.
Rio Grande National Forest is a 1.86 million-acre (7,530 km²) U.S. National Forest located in southwestern Colorado. The forest encompasses the San Luis Valley, which is the world's largest agricultural alpine valley, as well as one of the world's largest high deserts located around mountains. The Rio Grande river rises in the forest, and the Continental Divide runs along most of its western border. The forest lies in parts of nine counties. In descending order of land area within the forest they are Saguache, Mineral, Conejos, Rio Grande, Hinsdale, San Juan, Alamosa, Archuleta, and Custer counties. Forest headquarters are located in Monte Vista, Colorado. There are local ranger district offices in Del Norte, La Jara, and Saguache.
The La Garita Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area located in the La Garita Mountains of southern Colorado. The 129,626-acre (524.58 km2) wilderness established in 1964 in Gunnison and Rio Grande National Forests includes segments of the Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. At 14,014 feet (4,271 m), San Luis Peak is the highest point in the wilderness area.
The Maroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area located in the Elk Mountains of central Colorado. The 181,535-acre (734.65 km2) wilderness was established in 1980 in the Gunnison and White River national forests. Within its boundaries are 100 miles (160 km) of trails, 6 of Colorado's fourteeners and 9 passes over 12,000 feet (3,700 m). The wilderness is named after the two peaks known as the Maroon Bells as well as Snowmass Mountain.