New Curecanti plan will head to Congress

Future management of Curecanti National Recreation Area as a recognized entity of the National Park Service hinges on congressional approval of a recently completed resource protection plan.

The Curecanti recreation area,  20 miles west of Gunnison, initially was developed in 1965 through an agreement between the National Park Service and the Bureau of Reclamation shortly after the completion of Blue Mesa Dam.

Working under the memorandum of understanding gave the Curecanti area some valuable guidance, but now demands on the Curecanti and adjacent lands point toward more permanent governance, said Curecanti spokesman Dave Roberts.

“The MOU never established Curecanti as a permanent unit of the National Park Service,” Roberts said. “Part of this is to get that permanence established.”

The plan, titled the Curecanti Final Resource Protection Study/Environmental Impact Statement, outlines several possible options for future management of the area, including better oversight of cultural, recreational, scenic and natural resources.

Among the recommendations are expanding the area by 10,000 acres and working with adjoining landowners to protect scenic view sheds and recreational opportunities.

An official Record of Decision (ROD) will be issued within 30 days, then the plan will be sent to Congress.

A summary of the resource plan is available online at


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