Trout Unlimited praises San Juan Mountains wilderness bill


April 20, 2018

Contact: Garrett Hanks, TU Southwest Public Lands Coordinator,, 970-590-9367

Legislation would help protect San Miguel watershed, native cutthroat trout

(Ridgway)Trout Unlimited today praised Sen. Michael Bennet for introducing his San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act, a bill that would establish permanent land protections, including wilderness additions, in the Upper San Miguel watershed in southwestern Colorado, an area that is home to populations of native cutthroat trout and backcountry habitat for several big game species.

We thank Sen. Bennet for continuing to push for protections for this magnificent backcountry area, said Steve Kandell, director of Trout Unlimiteds Sportsmen Conservation Project. The bill would protect headwaters important for water quality and quantity, and theyre part of the larger San Miguel watershed that holds enormous value for anglers for its quality trout waters.

Under the bill, the headwaters of the San Miguel, the Uncompahgre, and the Animas Watersheds would enjoy increased protections. A new Sheep Mountain special management area would focus on habitat connectivity and preservation of the landscapes backcountry character. Naturita Canyon, a major tributary of the San Miguel and home to Colorado River cutthroat trout, would be protected from mineral development.

This bill would keep the land and water the way they are now for current users and future generations of anglers and hunters, said Marshall Pendergrass, of TUs Gunnison Gorge Anglers chapter. Were asking for D.C. lawmakers to listen to local sportsmens voices. This place is remote and very special. Lets keep it that way.

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About Trout Unlimited
Trout Unlimited is the nations oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North Americas trout and salmon and their watersheds. Colorado Trout Unlimited has 24 chapters and more than 10,000 members in the state.