BLMcolorado

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Enjoy a break from the cold with wildflowers from the American Basin ACEC in Colorado.

The BLM-administered American Basin ‪‎Area of Critical Environmental Concern‬ is managed to protect and enhance visual, botanic and other natural values - particularly wildflowers! It’s one of the most scenic areas in the San Juan Mountains, especially in midsummer when alpine wildflowers form a colorful carpet along the basin.

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Happy Monday - thinking of warmer days and spring flowers with views of the Handies Peak WSA!

The scenic Handies Peak Wilderness Study Area in Colorado is known for its mountains, multi-colored rock formations, diverse vegetation, and vast, open vistas. Handies Peak itself rises 14,048 feet over the area - the highest BLM point outside of Alaska. The WSA also hosts 12 other peaks that rise over 13,000 feet, three major canyons, glacial cirques, and three alpine lakes. 

This landscape makes Handies Peak WSA - a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands - a perfect getaway for hiking, backpacking, camping, mountain climbing, and photography. CLICK HERE to learn more and plan a visit.

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

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Happy Birthday, Colorado! On this day in 1876, Colorado became a state; we celebrate with a amazing photos from Handies Peak Wilderness Study Area - one of our favorites. 

The scenic quality of the Handies Peak Wilderness Study Area in Colorado is outstanding due to the interaction of mountainous landforms; multi-colored rock strata; diverse vegetation; and vast, open vistas. Handies Peak itself rises 14,048 feet over the area and is the highest point of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management outside of Alaska. This WSA also hosts 12 other peaks that rise over 13,000 feet, three major canyons, numerous small drainages, glacial cirques and three alpine lakes. The landscape a variety of volcanic, glacial and Precambrian formations. A rock glacier formation is also located at the head of American Basin.

This is an area perfect for hiking, backpacking, camping, mountain climbing and photography.  Guaranteed to inspire!

Photos by Bob Wick, Wilderness Specialist for BLM’s National Conservation Lands

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Beautiful Photos of the Rio Grande Natural Area in Colorado by BLMer and Tumblr Blogger Kyle Sullivan

The Rio Grande Natural Area was established in 2006 to conserve the natural, historic and cultural, scientific, and recreational resources of the 33-mile stretch of the Rio Grande between the southern end of the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge and the Colorado-New Mexico state border.

The photos were taken on a windy day, evidenced by the ripples in the water and the dust cloud seen to the north in some of the photos. This time of year, strong wind creates sandstorms that pick up sand from the valley floor and deposit the sand in the Great Sand Dunes National Park on the eastern edge of the valley.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the area.

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On this day in 1999, BLM Colorado’s Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area and Gunnison Gorge Wilderness Area were designated.

Just north of Montrose in west-central Colorado lies the Gunnison Gorge NCA, a diverse landscape ranging from adobe badlands to rugged piñon and juniper-covered slopes. At the heart of the NCA, the Gunnison Gorge Wilderness Area encompasses a spectacular black granite and red sandstone double canyon formed by the Gunnison River.

For more information visit: http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/nca/ggnca.html

Photos: Bob Wick, Wilderness Specialist for BLM’s National Conservation Lands

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#HappyFriday from Browns Canyon National Monoument in Colorado

The 21,586-acre Browns Canyon National Monument features rugged granite cliffs, colorful rock outcroppings and stunning mountain views.  Managed jointly by the Forest Service and BLM’s National Conservation Lands, the monument provides world-class recreational opportunities that attract visitors from around the globe for hiking, whitewater rafting and fishing. #SeeBLM

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

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This week, the BLM’s My Public Lands Instagram reached 60,000 followers! We’re celebrating this milestone with #mypubliclandspicks. Check out our instagram all weekend to view favorite photos and places to visit, selected by employees.

Featured above:

  • Sunset over Burning Man 2014, Nevada, by Casey Bryant, BLM Vending Compliance Team
  • Browns Canyon National Monument, Colorado, by Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist
  • Middle Fork, Wyoming, by Charlotte Darling, BLM Wyoming Rangeland Management Specialist
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Happy 100th Birthday to Rocky Mountain National Park!

Kyle Sullivan, employee at the BLM Colorado’s Royal Gorge Field Office, snapped these great wildlife photos in Rocky Mountain National Park. Visitors can access BLM public lands from the park via Trail Ridge Road in the summer. 

Congratulations, neighbor.  100 looks great on you!

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BLM Colorado Uses “Critter Cams” for Wildlife Monitoring

Biologists at the Royal Gorge Field Office in Colorado utilize guzzlers and other water collection systems to manage grazing and increase water access to wildlife. Still cameras have been placed at guzzlers along the front range of the Rocky Mountains to monitor use and activity. 

Cameras provide a dimension of monitoring that give biologists an invaluable amount of information as to the frequency of use and by what species. Beyond the scientific data collected by the critter cameras, magnificent, candid photographs of coyotes, bobcats and other creatures are captured. 

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Looking for a spooky hike? Walk among the dead at Oil Well Flats in Colorado. The north and east sections were burned years ago in the Cooper Mountain Fire. The resulting landscape is otherworldly, with sandstone spires that tower above the charred remains of piñons and junipers.  It’s a spectacular landscape, especially at dusk. 

By Kyle Sullivan, BLM

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A Little Inspiration to #GetOutside This Weekend!

The Blanca Wetlands Recreation Area in Colorado provides nationally-recognized shorebird habitat and a winding trail system - all with stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo mountain. CLICK HERE to plan a visit.

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BLM Colorado’s Red Cloud Peak Wilderness Study Area (WSA) contains 30 mountain peaks over 13,000 feet in elevation and two peaks over 14,000 feet: Red Cloud Peak (14,034 feet) and Sunshine Peak (14,001 feet). In the upper portion of the drainages, the mountainous terrain, with its expanses of alpine tundra and open scenic vistas, projects feelings of vastness and solitude.

Lower elevations are often heavily forested and create a feeling of total seclusion. Volcanic and Precambrian rock types are intermingled and glacial geomorphology is highly evident. There are also several rock glacier formations, alpine lakes, and streams in this WSA. 

This WSA is home to many wildlife species, including Red-tailed and Cooper’s hawks, prairie falcons, doves, quail, songbirds, mule deer, gray and kit fox, rock squirrels, jackrabbits, and several reptilian species. Activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, mountain climbing, horseback riding, hunting, fishing, and photography.

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

 

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Happy Wilderness Wednesday! On this day in history, President Bill Clinton signed the Colorado Wilderness Act of 1993 in to law, adding the Powderhorn and Uncompahgre wilderness areas to the National Wilderness System.

Pictured here, the Uncompahgre Wilderness in Colorado - a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands - consists of gently rolling alpine tundra meadows, rugged, mountainous landscapes, and densely-forested canyons within the north-central San Juan Mountains. This wilderness boasts two “fourteeners” (on USFS-managed land) and more than 34 other peaks that tower over 13,000 feet in elevation. Visitors can explore over 100 miles of trails that provide excellent opportunities for various forms of recreation.

Several forks of the Cimarron River roar through the wilderness and numerous alpine lakes and streams that are scattered throughout. A few small lakes and many streams contain trout. From this wilderness are countless, breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountains.

Photo: Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist

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Good morning from Browns Canyon Area of Critical Environmental Concern in Colorado.

The BLM-administered Browns Canyon was designated as an ACEC to protect the integrity and management of the canyon environment. The bluffs provide a valuable habitat for bighorn sheep and raptors. 

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

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BLM Winter Bucket List #17: Powderhorn Wilderness, Colorado, for Cross-Country Skiing across Alpine Tundra

The Powderhorn Wilderness in Colorado is found in a rugged, glacier-carved landscape of the northern reaches of the San Juan Mountains. The area consists of large expanses of alpine tundra, spruce forests, and several alpine lakes at nearly 12,000 feet in elevation. Breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountains are available in this wilderness. Above 12,000 feet are two high-elevation plateaus that make up the largest relatively flat expanse of alpine tundra in the lower 48 states.

The higher elevations of Powderhorn Wilderness area characterized by alpine tundra and high alpine lakes, such as Powderhorn Lakes and Devil’s Lake. During the winter months, visitors can enjoy this scenic area while cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

CLICK HERE to learn more and plan your trip, 

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

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March #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover:  Our Paleo Bucket List is McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area in Colorado

Located in the magnificent red rock country near Grand Junction, Colorado, the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area offers dinosaur buffs an opportunity to explore sites of significant historic excavations. Step-back 140 million years and hike the 1.5-mile Trail Through Time, an interpretive trail adjacent to an active dinosaur quarry.  In addition to learning about past excavations, visitors will occasionally see paleontologists working onsite between May-August. The list of dinosaur remains found here is quite extensive, and includes Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus Camarasaurus, Ceratosaurus, Allosaurus, and Nodosaurus. 

Visitors will find no shortage of outdoor activities in the 123,000-acre NCA. The area includes a hiking trail to the second-largest concentration of natural arches in North America.  World-class mountain biking can be found on Mack Ridge and along the 142-mile Kokopelli trail, which extends to Moab, Utah. Twenty-five miles of the Colorado River wind their way through the NCA, offering a flat-water float through spectacular red-rock canyons. Pictograph and petroglyph sites abound, and the Old Spanish Trail - once referred to as the “longest, crookedest, most arduous mule route in the history of America” - runs through the NCA.  

Landscape photos by Bob Wick, BLM; photos of Mymoorapelta maysi dinosaur, found in McInnis Canyons, courtesy BLM Colorado and partners

Note: The #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover is a 2015 monthly celebration of the 15th anniversary of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands.

The BLM-managed Powderhorn Wilderness in Colorado is found in a rugged, glacier-carved landscape of the northern reaches of the San Juan Mountains. The area consists of large expanses of alpine tundra, spruce forests, and several alpine lakes at nearly 12,000 feet in elevation. High-elevation plateaus were created by Teritary volcanic deposits, believed to be 5,000 feet thick in some areas. 

Visitors can explore more than 45 miles of trails within this area, including Powderhorn Lakes Trail, East Fork Trail, Powderhorn Park Trail, Middle Fork Trail, and Devil’s Creek Trail.  CLICK HERE to plan your adventure in this wilderness area.

Photo by Bob Wick, Wilderness Specialist for the BLM’s National Conservation Lands

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Palisade Area of Critical Environmental Concern, BLM Colorado

When managed for the protection of scenic values, fish or wildlife resources, or natural processes, Areas of Critical Environmental Concern can often overlap with Wilderness Areas or Wilderness Study Areas. The Palisade #ACEC overlapping with the Palisade Wilderness Study Area is one example.

It is a spectacularly diverse area spanning vertical cliffs, mesas, deep rugged canyons and flat desert valley bottoms. Its most prominent feature is The Palisade itself, a three-mile rocky butte that cuts the unit from north to south like a spine. The area is protected for peregrine falcon and golden eagle breeding areas as well as Gunnison Sage-Grouse habitat. It is also managed for the preservation of sensitive plant species.

Learn more about ACEC and the Palisade