Gunnison Gorge Comment Period Ends

Public comments are being accepted for the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area Recreation Management Plan through close of business on Monday, June 16, 2003.

The inner Gunnison Gorge is a 17,700 acre wilderness area in western Colorado downstream of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Its 14 mile-long technical whitewater run is popular with kayakers and rafters. It is also a very popular fishing area for both hike-in and floating trout enthusiasts, and a scenic hiking and backpacking destination. The spectacular double-rimmed canyon is administered by the Uncompahgre Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management. The area outside the wilderness has many other uses such as hunting, grazing, and off-road vehicle recreation.

The Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Plan can be accessed by clicking on the Plan link at the homepage: This is a lengthy Adobe Acrobat Reader (.pdf) file that has been broken into segments for easier download. The table summarizing the river recreation alternatives can be found on pages 20 through 22 in the "Summary and Comparison of Alternatives" section. More specific river recreation information can be found in tables on Adobe pages 32-34 (Alternative A), pages 80-85 (Alternative B), Adobe pages 141-150 (Alternative C), and pages 186 - 195 (Alternative D) in Chapter 2.

Alternative A is the current plan and status quo. Alternative D is the agency's Preferred Alternative and would establish a "Wilderness Recreation Strategy" that would lay the groundwork for a much more in-depth survey and analysis of commercial and non-commercial boating. The WRS would guide the future of boating use, including changes in permitting for non-commercial and commercial river users.

Comments should be submitted by email to: with "Draft RMP/EIS in subject line or via fax to (720) 406-9114.