By Mike Rosso
The Beaver Creek Wilderness Study Area (BCWSA), near Penrose, is a hidden gem encompassing nearly 27,020 acres. Administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a portion – 13,734 acres – is within an Area of Critical Environmental Concern. As part of the 1976 Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the BLM was directed to inventory areas for their wilderness characteristics. These areas are known as Wilderness Study Areas (WSA). Until Congress makes a final decision either to designate these areas as wilderness or release them for other multiple uses, the BLM manages WSAs to preserve their suitability for designation as wilderness.