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Gunnison Public Lands Initiative 


Mule Deer in the Gunnison Basin. Photo Credit: Brett Henderson




1. Gunnison Public Lands Initiative (GPLI) has nearly completed a land protection proposal for the Gunnison Basin.  


2. The proposal includes community interests in public lands around Gunnison County. 

3. The goal of the GPLI is “to create a successful legislative proposal for public land designation that enjoys broad support, is technically sound, and best serves the community and the general public into the future”.

4. Gunnison Public Lands Initiative (GPLI) is proud to recommend 452,221 acres of public lands for protection in and around the Gunnison Basin, and looks forward to seeing these recommendations drafted into federal legislation, which is being called the Gunnison Outdoor Resources Protection Act (GORP). 


5. Senator Bennet is asking for public comment on GORP. Part of GORP is approximately 45,000 acres of BLM lands that are in Saguache County's jurisdiction. Saguache County Commissioners are in the process of drafting a letter of support. 

6. Senator Bennet’s draft will protect key portions of Gunnison County through a variety of federal public land management tools, including:

  • recreation

  • wildlife

  • scientific research

  • conservation


7. Saguache County would be supporting a 6th of the land area for the proposed GPLI initiative called the Sawtooth Conservation Area.   


Additional information about the GORP bill is available at:

8. Under the leadership of Saguache Commissioner Tom McCracken, a letter was drafted in support of the proposed 45,000 acres Sawtooth Wildlife Conservation Area, but unfortunately,  the remaining Commissioners would not move forward to support the draft letter at this time.


9. SLVEC sent a letter to Senator Bennet’s office supporting the GORP act. 64 people signed on to our letter of support for wildlife protection and habitat enhancement. 

Proposed Conservation Area Map:


President Biden's 30 by 30 plan 

Soon after taking office, President Biden issued an executive order to tackle the climate crisis domestically and abroad. In it, he established a national goal to conserve at least 30 percent of U.S. lands and freshwater and 30 percent of U.S. ocean areas by 2030, in an initiative commonly referred to as 30x30.

Colorado is losing its most iconic asset: nature. 


1. From 2001-2017, Colorado lost over 1,000 square miles of natural lands to development.



2. At this point, about 28  percent of Colorado, an area roughly the size of South Carolina, has been developed for human purposes such as  residential areas, energy development, and transportation.

3. The United States as a whole loses  natural lands at a rate of about one football field every 30 seconds, or about 1.5 million acres per year.


1. In the United States, the movement to protect and restore 30 percent of our nation’s waters and lands is gaining  momentum.


2. In the United States Senate, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet has  joined New Mexico Senator Tom Udall to sponsor a resolution committing the nation to the “30x30” goal.

3. For Colorado, a goal of 30 percent protected lands equals about 20  

million acres. With 10 percent of land already in protected status,  

or about 6 million acres, Colorado should seek to protect and restore  

at least 14 million more acres of lands, and the waterways that pass  

through them, by 2030 to meet the 30x30 goal. 

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