Pew Commends Bureau of Land Management for Protecting Lands Along Colorado's Arkansas River

New plan will benefit wildlife, natural ecosystems, and local economies

WASHINGTON—The Pew Charitable Trusts today commended the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for protecting 300,000 acres of land and for finding 60 miles of rivers suitable for Wild and Scenic River status.

The decisions come as part of the bureau’s Record of Decision for the Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan.

The lands, located in Colorado’s Royal Gorge region, are known as the “Grand Canyon of the Arkansas” and serve as a hub for river rafters and outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure, pristine scenery, and an abundance of wildlife.

Laurel Williams, a manager with Pew’s U.S. conservation program, issued this statement: 

“Pew commends the Bureau of Land Management for engaging in a thorough public process—the result of which will protect lands and rivers that serve as critical wildlife habitat, an outdoor recreation destination, and an economic driver for surrounding communities.

“By safeguarding some of eastern Colorado’s wildest landscapes, BLM is ensuring that animals such as Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, elk, pronghorn, and other wildlife will continue to have healthy habitat into the future. This Record of Decision is the culmination of years of hard work and collaboration, and conserves public lands that are popular destinations for outdoor pursuits such as hiking, mountain biking, and rafting.

“We applaud BLM for finding 60 miles of river suitable for Wild and Scenic River status. These waterways provide clean drinking water, and many are tributaries to the mighty Arkansas River—a hub for rafters and adventure seekers.

“The agency’s new safeguards for these public lands and rivers in eastern Colorado follow the latest science, which shows that conserving and connecting landscapes helps ecosystems become more resilient to a changing climate. The Pew Charitable Trusts joins Colorado communities and partners in thanking the BLM.”


Founded in 1948, The Pew Charitable Trusts uses data to make a difference. Pew addresses the challenges of a changing world by illuminating issues, creating common ground, and advancing ambitious projects that lead to tangible progress.

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