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National Conservation Lands

 National Landscape Conservation System

 McInnis Canyons NCA - Rattlesnake Arch

What are National Conservation Lands?
The Bureau of Land Management's National Conservation Lands, also known as the National Landscape Conservation System, contain and highlight some of the American West's most spectacular public lands so they may be protected, conserved, or restored. These areas are congressionally or presidentially designated. The National Conservation Lands includes national monuments, national conservation areas, national scenic and historic trails, wild and scenic rivers, wilderness areas, wilderness study areas, and congressionally designated management areas.

Why do the National Conservation Lands exist?
The National Conservation Lands were created in 2000 to conserve, protect, and restore nationally significant landscapes that are recognized for their cultural, ecological, and scientific values.

What presence do National Conservation Lands have in Colorado?
Colorado's National Conservation Lands encompass approximately one million acres, or 1/8 of all BLM land in the state.

There are: 
• 3 national conservation areas
• 53 wilderness study areas
• 5 wilderness areas
• 1 national historic trail
• 1 national scenic trail 
• 2 national monuments
For more information about each area, please see the categories listed.

National Conservation Lands Logo 


·   Black Ridge Canyons

·   Dominguez Canyon

·   Gunnison Gorge

·   Powderhorn

·   Uncompahgre


National Conservation Areas

·   Dominguez-Escalante NCA

·   Gunnison Gorge NCA

·   McInnis Canyons NCA


National Monuments

·   Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

·   Browns Canyon National Monument


National Scenic & Historic Trails

·   Old Spanish National Historic Trail

·   Continental Divide National Scenic Trail


Wilderness Study Areas


Wild and Scenic Rivers

Additional Information:

• 2007 Colorado NLCS Strategy
2013 Colorado NLCS Implementation Strategy
• NLCS Map: National View
• Publications
• NLCS Unit Summary (2010)
• Similarly Designated Lands

Powderhorn Wilderness (Photo by Bob Wick)

 McInnis Canyon National Conservation Area (Photo by Bob Wick)  

 Squaw/Papoose Canyon Wilderness Study Area (Photo by John Fielder)


 Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (Photo by Jerry Sintz)


 Continental Divide National Scenic Trail


BLM Colorado State Office  |  (303) 239-3600  |  2850 Youngfield St., Lakewood, CO 80215

National Conservation Lands Program Lead  |  (303) 239-3752