TU praises proposed BLM protections for Roan Plateau


June 28, 2016


David Nickum, executive director, Colorado Trout Unlimited, (720) 581-8589, dnickum@tu.org

Garrett Hanks, TU Southwest Colorado field coordinator, (970) 430-5540, ghanks@tu.org

Trout Unlimited praises proposed BLM protections for Roan Plateau

Calls it big step forward in protecting pristine trout habitat

RIFLE, Colo. Trout Unlimited today praised the Bureau of Land Managements Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Roan Plateau, a backcountry area prized as a fish and wildlife oasis and a cornerstone of the areas recreation-based economy.

While TU said it was still reviewing the document, the BLM plan appears to cancel the majority of oil and gas leases on top of the Roan Plateau, including all of those in the Trapper and Northwater Creek watersheds, areas that encompass the best cutthroat trout habitat on the Roan. The BLMs proposed decision reflects the 2014 settlement reached between Bill Barrett Corporationthe lease holderand conservation groups.

This is another big step forward in years-long efforts to protect one of Colorados natural treasures, said David Nickum, executive director of Colorado Trout Unlimited. It shows that, working together, we can craft a management solution that provides lasting protections for the Roans most valuable fish and wildlife habitat, while allowing careful, responsible development of its energy reserves.

The Roan is one of Colorado’s last best places: its small streams hold rare populations of genetically pure Colorado River cutthroat trouta species found in less than 10 percent of its historic range. Public lands on the plateaus top and at its base provide key summer and winter range and migration corridors for large herds of mule deer and elk.

The surrounding landscape is also rich in energy resources and dotted with oil and gas development sites.

Over the years, our members have invested thousands of dollars and hundreds of volunteer hours into habitat and fisheries projects on the Roan, said Ben Bloodworth, president of TUs Grand Valley Anglers chapter. Its a very special place to Colorado sportsmen and women, and this BLM plan helps protect it for future generations to enjoy.

The BLM release of the FEIS will be followed by a few more steps to secure final protections for the Roan: A 30-day public comment period for the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement begins July 1, followed by the BLM’s final Record of Decision.


Trout Unlimited is a non-profit organization with 147,000 members nationwide dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North Americas coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. TU has more than 10,000 members and 24 chapters in Colorado.