BLM acquires 26 acres in Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area through Land and Water Conservation Fund
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management Grand Junction Field Office in partnership with Western Rivers Conservancy has acquired a 26.32-acre parcel of land in Mesa County, Colorado. Located on the Gunnison River within Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area, the Meridian Junction acquisition furthers partnership efforts to conserve and protect resources for future generations.
“This acquisition will benefit the public and our National Conservation Lands” said Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area Manager Amber Koski. “We have great partners, such as Western Rivers Conservancy that assist the BLM in acquiring lands for the public to enjoy and cherish here on the western slope.”
Nearly 30 miles of the lower Gunnison River flow through the 210,172-acre Dominguez-Escalante NCA, supporting fish, wildlife and recreational resources. This section of river is listed as critical habitat for two federally endangered fish species, the Colorado pikeminnow and razorback sucker. The acquired property is located on a popular stretch of river for boating and contains other riparian, scenic, and recreation values.
The BLM partnered with Western Rivers Conservancy to purchase and conserve strategic riverfront inholdings in the national conservation area since its creation in 2009. This is the sixth property that Western Rivers Conservancy has purchased along the lower Gunnison River and transferred to the BLM as part of its broader effort to conserve lands within the national conservation area. The partnership efforts began with two pivotal acquisition projects in 2012 and 2013 totaling over 560 acres. To date, Western Rivers Conservancy and the BLM have acquired over 7 miles of the lower Gunnison in the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area, as well as downstream in the Bangs Canyon Special Recreation Management Area.
“We’re thrilled to see a decade of hard work pay off with this parcel along the Gunnison protected and another crucial property included in the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area,” said Western Rivers Conservancy President Sue Doroff. “The Gunnison is a lifeline through this arid western Colorado landscape and protecting vulnerable land along the river is crucial to the health of the entire conservation area.”
Western Rivers Conservancy acquires lands along rivers throughout the West to conserve critical habitat and to create or improve public access for compatible use and enjoyment. By cooperating with local agencies and organizations and by applying decades of land acquisition experience, Western Rivers Conservancy secures the health of whole ecosystems. To learn more, visit www.westernrivers.org.
Land and Water Conservation Fund visit: https://www.doi.gov/lwcf. For information about the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area, please visit the BLM website at: https://www.blm.gov/office/dominguez-escalante-national-conservation-area
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.