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|Udall, Bennet Announce Public Review Process to Develop Curecanti Area|
|Special to the Post | 7/24/12|
|Back to the News Summaries|
|Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet today announced the start to a collaborative, community-driven process to develop legislation that establishes the boundary of the Curecanti National Recreation Area (NRA) and formally defines the National Park Service’s role in managing and protecting the area. It would codify in law Interior Secretary Stewart Udall’s 1965 order that created the Curecanti NRA.|
“Establishing clear boundaries for the Curecanti National Recreation Area will ensure the continued preservation of this magnificent recreational resource for future generations,” Udall said. “Protecting public lands in the right way can support jobs, our economy, and the quality of life that makes Colorado the envy of the world.”
Udall and Bennet’s proposal would streamline the management of Curecanti NRA without affecting the Bureau of Reclamation’s management of the dams and related infrastructure. Currently, lands managed by three other agencies are within Curecanti NRA, creating unnecessary challenges for the park’s management and the conservation of its resources.
“Last summer’s visit to Blue Mesa was one of my family’s highlights in our travels across Colorado. Formalizing the boundaries of the Curecanti National Recreation Area will preserve this treasure, help boost tourism in the region and drive the local economy,” Bennet said. “Input from the local community and other stakeholders will ensure that we accomplish our goal in a way that everyone can be proud.”
The draft legislation also would allow NPS and willing landowners to work collaboratively and conserve private lands around Curecanti NRA by helping to maintain or improve wildlife habitat, water quality, natural scenery and other important resources. The proposed Conservation Opportunity Area could help improve the preservation of up to 24,300 acres of private land and participation would be completely voluntary.
In 1999, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area Act was signed into law, which included a study of how best to protect neighboring Curecanti NRA. The Curecanti NRA Resource Protection Study and Environmental Impact Study was released in 2008, recommending that Congress pass legislation defining the boundaries of the park and NPS’s authority. This legislation would be in response to that study, which can be found here.
For more information about this proposal and to submit comments on it, please visit this website.
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