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Contact: Dave Roberts, (970) 240-5432
The National Park Service (NPS) invites the public to attend a meeting to share recommendations for the future of Curecanti National Recreation Area (NRA), and to seek input on the ideas.
"Congress asked the National Park Service to conduct a study of the Curecanti area, and to make recommendations that would better conserve the natural, cultural, recreational, and scenic resources of the area," according to Park Superintendent Connie Rudd. "The results of the study and its preliminary recommendations are being finalized in a document, and park staff will be available to explain the recommendations at the upcoming meetings."
Currently, the NRA is being managed under a memorandum of agreement between the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and NPS, and is not a congressionally established unit of the National Park Service. The study’s recommendations include a request that Congress provide legislative establishment of the NRA, wherein NPS would officially manage the natural and cultural resources; and provide for resource-based recreation, education, and interpretation. Reclamation would continue to manage their projects relating to the three dams and reservoirs within the NRA, as they currently do.
A legislated boundary would be established for the NRA. The proposal would add about 10,000 acres of other agency lands to the NRA.
An important concept in the recommendation is the creation of a Conservation Opportunity Area (COA), which would remain outside the NRA boundary. The COA would include some private land surrounding the NRA, and Congress would grant NPS the authority to work in partnership with willing landowners to conserve Curecanti area resources.
An 8-page summary document is now available, and the full Curecanti Draft Resource Protection Study / Environmental Impact Statement (RPS/EIS) is due out soon. Copies of the summary document will be available at the public meetings. The meetings are open houses, so interested persons are invited to stop by any time. The times and locations are:
- Saturday, July 21, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm — Lake Fork Marina at Blue Mesa Reservoir (Hwy 92, near junction with Hwy 50).
- Sunday, July 22, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm — Elk Creek Marina at Blue Mesa Reservoir (Hwy 50, 15 miles west of Gunnison)
- Monday, July 23, 3:00 - 7:00 pm — Holiday Inn Express, 1391 S. Townsend Ave., Montrose (presentations at 3:30 and 5:30)
- Tuesday, July 24, 3:00 - 7:00 pm — Hotchkiss Memorial Hall, 1st and Main Streets (presentations at 3:30 and 5:30)
- Wednesday, July 25, 3:00 - 7:00 pm — Fred R. Field Western Heritage Center, Gunnison Fairgrounds (presentations at 3:30 and 5:30)
"We are encouraging the public to share their thoughts about the future of Curecanti National Recreation Area, and to remain involved as we finalize the recommendations," added Rudd. "This is an exciting opportunity to conserve valuable resources in the Curecanti area for future generations."
For additional information on the Curecanti Resource Protection Study, contact Management Assistant Dave Roberts at 970-240-5432, or visit the Planning, Environment and Public Comment Website.