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Sarvis Creek Wilderness

Preserving Wilderness and Recreation: The Sarvis Creek Wilderness Completion Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a significant step toward preserving Colorado’s natural beauty and enhancing outdoor recreational activities, Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, along with U.S. Representative Joe Neguse, have introduced a groundbreaking bill dubbed the Sarvis Creek Wilderness Completion Act. Announced on March 20, 2024, this legislative effort seeks to expand the Sarvis Creek Wilderness Area within the Routt National Forest by an impressive 6,817 acres. This expansion aims not only to protect the sub-alpine wilderness habitats and the diverse wildlife that calls them home but also to increase access to outdoor recreation for Colorado residents and visitors alike.

The Sarvis Creek Wilderness, known for its pristine landscapes and proximity to Steamboat Springs, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and an important ecological area. The proposed expansion will extend wilderness protection to the Harrison and Green Creek watersheds, which are vital sub-alpine regions feeding into the Yampa River. This move is crucial for safeguarding aquatic resources and preserving water quality, thereby benefiting both the environment and the communities that rely on these watersheds.

Moreover, the bill focuses on protecting vital winter range and spring calving areas for the estimated 250-300 elk residing in the area, in addition to habitats for other native Colorado fish and wildlife. The expansion will also facilitate easy public access from Steamboat Springs and Stagecoach for low-impact recreation activities such as hunting, fishing, back-country skiing, and hiking.

The Sarvis Creek Wilderness Completion Act represents a collaborative effort involving local elected officials, outdoor recreation enthusiasts, agricultural interests, and environmental leaders. Their unified goal is to protect critical watersheds, enhance wildlife habitat, and safeguard outdoor exploration opportunities for future generations. This initiative underscores Colorado’s commitment to preserving its public lands and supporting the outdoor recreation economy, which are both integral to the state’s identity and way of life.

Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper, alongside Representative Neguse, have expressed their dedication to moving this bill forward, emphasizing the importance of community involvement and bipartisan support in achieving their conservation and recreation objectives. As this bill progresses through the legislative process, it holds the promise of enriching Colorado’s natural heritage and ensuring the sustainable enjoyment of its wilderness areas for years to come.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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