Lincoln Park Legacy

THE GENTLE ROLLING HILLS JUST SOUTH OF Cañon City are covered with the green that a semi-desert landscape can produce: low grasses, cactus, shrub-like pine and juniper trees. Ground and surface waters drain northeast from the Wet Mountains immediately adjacent, though surface waters flowing through the area, like Sand Creek, tend to appear only following …

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Decision Time for Public Lands

By Ron Sering As you drive west from Pueblo into the mountains, off to the northwest is a huge area of high desert. This includes the Gold Belt area and the Royal Gorge near Cañon City, as well as vast tracts of land along the U.S. Hwy. 50 corridor near Texas Creek, Cotopaxi and Howard. …

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Badger Creek: A Wilderness?

Article and photos by John Lacher

I grew up in the hills just outside Boulder. That upbringing offered me the opportunity to ramble around the mountainside on little explorations. I was always thinking about discoveries just beyond the next ridge or rock outcrop. Perhaps I would find an abandoned cabin, an old Indian campsite, or maybe the next quartz vein would have a chunk of gold sticking out of it. This would certainly be a big supplement to my paper route money. Alas, I never found anything of worth, but would sometimes run into a dip on the mountainside or a secluded ridge line where no houses were visible nor sounds of humanity present. They always seemed magical somehow, and to me they were true wilderness areas. I still enjoy poking around less traveled areas in Colorado.

Last year my eyes fell on Badger Creek on a map. It runs into the Arkansas River from the north, and seemed like a great place to visit, fish and explore. Last fall I drove to the North end, where County Road 2 crosses Badger Creek. There were a few fish, and not many people. I camped one night. Unzipping the tent next morning, my eyes fell on a lovely mountain bluebird perched on a cow pie eight feet away. I took that for good Karma, since the bird was in no hurry to leave, and we enjoyed each others’ company for a few minutes.

That afternoon, three gentlemen from Colorado Springs appeared. They had hiked down a few miles to fish. One fellow stated that he had always wanted to hike down the whole canyon to the Arkansas, but had heard that there were no trails, and that it might be a little tough going. Much like a lake cutthroat rising toward a dry fly, I was hooked. 

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Pursuing Uranium in Fremont County


By Joe Stone

The Tallahassee Creek area in western Fremont County offers a degree of serenity conducive to a contemplative lifestyle, evidenced by the presence of a monastic retreat on the banks of Tallahassee Creek. This bucolic setting between Salida and Cañon City seemed ideal, not only to the monks and nuns of the Monastery of Our Lady and Saint Laurence, but also to the urban refugees who built homes and hobby ranches in the area during the past 25 years. But what once seemed like the idyllic manifestation of lifelong dreams took a nightmarish turn when residents realized a mining company owned the rights to the uranium that lies beneath their property.

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Wild Connections: Mapping Potential Wilderness Areas

By Tyler Grimes

Up the East Gulch from its confluence with the Arkansas River, a few miles east of Texas Creek in Fremont County, is Echo Canyon. Further up the gulch, Table Mountain looms to the southwest, past Bull Ridge.

Surrounding this mountain, gulch and canyon are 32,000 acres of roadless Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. The area is classified under the BLM’s Area of Critical Environment Concern (ACEC) because of its valued species: a BLM Instant Study Area protecting 17 native grasses: and its importance as a wildlife corridor for mountain lion, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, black bear, elk, mule deer, pronghorn, Gunnison prairie dog, wild turkey, peregrine falcon, Mexican spotted owl, great blue heron and bald eagle. Conservation Science Partners (CSP) recognizes 7,641 acres of Table Mountain as having “important ecologically based indicators of high biodiversity, resilience to climate change, and landscape connectivity.” The unit is deemed one of Central Colorado Wilderness Coalition’s (CCWC) top 11 areas worthy of wilderness designation. 

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