Robert Winn: Retain recreational access on the Roan
This Thursday, March 29, at 7 p.m., there is a special public meeting being held at the Rifle High School Auditorium.
The Roan Area Access Project has formed a public group to help maintain and increase recreational access on the Roan and in the surrounding areas. Currently, we are hoping to save recreational access (primarily hunting) to more than 10,000 acres on the Roan. The area in question was once Bureau of Land Management land, however, in 1980, the BLM sold this land. As a result, the property transitioned from public lands to private property. At the time of the sale, it was required that all recreational access (mainly hunting) be kept intact for 25 years. In 2005, the rule expired. Since then, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has been able to keep access through lease agreements they negotiated with EnCana. Last year, EnCana sold its holdings in the area. To date, the new property owners have not reached an agreement with CPW.
We are hoping that, through our efforts, we can form a partnership with the CPW and the new property owners. Initial research indicates that more than 900 hunters access this property and spend more than 4,500 total recreational days in the area. This represents a substantial source of income for our local communities.
We also have formed a Facebook group called the Roan Area Access Project to help provide information.
I would love to thank the Good Samaritans who helped me during our huge snowstorm about a month ago.