The opportunities to experience the natural world made possible by our public lands are unparalleled and their importance to wildlife unequalled. Colorado has approximately 24 million acres of public lands and over 100,000 river miles. The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests provide essential habitat for a wide variety of wildlife and fish, and it is a National destination for hunting and fishing as well as wildlife watching. As hunters and anglers we seek opportunities to enjoy large backcountry habitats in pursuit of fish and game, as well as the solitude and challenge of experiencing large intact landscapes.
CO BHA members share a deep concern about our backcountry lands and waters. The pressures of an exploding population of public land users utilizing more capable technologies has led to significant impacts to wildlife and the habitat they depend on, as well as diminished opportunities for the public to experience truly wild places. Once finite habitat is developed, it is effectively taken out of inventory forever. With foresight and long-term vision, one can see that habitat is much harder to restore in the future than to conserve purposefully in the present.
We believe in managing wildlife and wild public lands as a public trust and a priceless resource. We believe in keeping undeveloped public lands truly wild and in the conservation of wildlife habitats and the species that depend on them.
We are committed to continuing our active engagement with the GMUG and collaborating with other interest groups to incorporate these principles in the development of the forest plan revision. We believe by implementing these recommendations, the GMUG can go a long way toward maintaining the wildlife and wild places so valued by its residents and visitors.