Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest

Engaging in the Draft Plan process will be our best opportunity to ensure that the GMUG’s beloved rivers are managed in the interest of the public and protected for future generations to come.

Here in Colorado, many of our National Forests Plans are more than 20 years old and are well overdue for a full plan revision. The largest National Forest Unit in Colorado, the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests, is currently going through this plan revision process and numerous coalitions, organizations, and members of the public have been collaborating to help guide the process and ensure that the rivers of the GMUG receive the best possible protections and management direction. 

The plan revision process started in 2017 and after some significant delays, we are anticipating the release of the Draft Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement this summer. The Draft Plan will include a revised Wild and Scenic River Eligibility Evaluation. 

The original Draft Evaluation released in February 2019 fell seriously short, leaving out many river segments that should be determined “eligible” for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. To qualify for eligibility status a river only needs to be free-flowing and have at least one Outstandingly Remarkable Value, of which there are many on the vast GMUG. Only 3% of the GMUG’s rivers have been determined as eligible and it is up to us to ensure that a more robust Eligibility Evaluation is completed.

We support findings of wild & scenic eligibility for all the stream segments included in the 2021 Draft Plan, including:

  • Oh-be-joyful Creek and tributaries
  • West Elk Creek 
  • West Soap Creek 
  • Copper Creek and tributaries 
  • Cow Creek and tributaries 
  • Roubideau Creek and tributaries 
  • Tabeguache Creek and North Fork
  • Copper Lake
  • Fall Creek (Norwood District)
  • Muddy Creek (Norwood District)
  • Anthracite Creek (Gunnison District)
  • San Miguel River 
  • North Fork Escalante and Kelso

We support finding the following streams eligible; previously found eligible but not in this draft plan:

  • Taylor River
  • Slate River
  • East River
  • Escalante Creek
  • Bridal Veil Creek (Falls)
  • Ingram Falls

We support the inclusion of the following additional reaches that were excluded from the Draft GMUG Forest Plan

  • Monitor Creek
  • Potter Creek
  • Cottonwood Creek
  • Beaver Creek
  • Horsefly Creek
  • Upper Brush Creek and West Brush Creek Tributary
  • Cement Creek
  • Curecanti Creek
  • Coal Creek
  • Lamphier Lake
  • Big Blue Creek and Slide Lake
  • North Clear Creek
  • Dry Fork of the Escalante
  • Uncompahgre River