There are currently five ACECs in the Uncompahgre Field Office, which were designated under the two current RMPs:
AREA IN ACRES
· Scenic Mancos Shale hills, flats, and unique formations created by wind and water erosion
· Highly erodible and saline soils resulting in high sediment loads and very saline runoff
· Known and potential habitat for several federally endangered and threatened plant species
· Large population of federally listed endangered plant species
· Significant populations of federal candidate plant species
· Volcanic geological structure with high-value scientific, interpretive, and scenic characteristics
San Miguel River
· Unique, high quality riparian vegetation
· Relic riparian communities
· River corridor with high scenic value
· Important archaeological sites with a relationship between the Fremont and Anasazi cultures
ACECS UNDER CONSIDERATION
As part of the Uncompahgre RMP development process, existing ACECs were reevaluated to determine whether:
· the relevant and important values are still present and require continued management attention
· threats of irreparable damage to the values have been identified
· current management is sufficient to protect the values.
In addition, new ACECs nominated during the public scoping period were evaluated for relevance and importance. The results of these evaluations are detailed in the Draft ACEC Report for the Uncompahgre Planning Area and will be used to develop preferred alternatives for the RMP.
PROTECTING SIGNIFICANT VALUES
Restrictions arising from ACEC designation are proposed during formulation of the Final RMP. Restrictions are designed to protect the values and/or serve the purposes for which the designation was made. Management prescriptions are developed expressly to protect the important and relevant values of an area. Such measures would not be necessary or prescribed if the critical and important features were not present.