Founded in 2014, the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative (GPLI) is a coalition of stakeholders whose joint purpose is to preserve and protect the 2.5 million acres of public lands in Gunnison County. After watching visitation increase to Gunnison Valley over the years, community members began to see the effects this can take on the land. Striking a balance between preservation and the benefits of visitation seemed paramount. Preserving the land for the benefit of the community became a top priority. Stakeholders include groups in ranching, water, conservation, motorized recreation, mountain biking, hunting and angling. These stakeholders are working together for a common goal of protecting the public lands they love. Along with protecting public lands, GPLI also seeks to create a strong and sustainable economy and support historic uses of public lands in Gunnison County.
GPLI introduced legislation known as the Gunnison Outdoor Resources Protection (GORP) Act. This legislation combines the goals of all the stakeholders to create a set of recommendations for the preservation and future of the public lands in and around Gunnison County. The process of creating the GORP Act included an extensive multi-year community vetting process before being released for public review. The GORP Act seeks to categorize public lands in Gunnison County as Wilderness and Special Management Areas (SMAs). A Wilderness designation prohibits new mining, drilling or other extractive processes. It protects the natural and undeveloped character of the land. SMAs also protect the land, but the ways the land can be used are more flexible under this designation. They usually prevent new roads from being built or mineral development, but they can be tailored for to the goals and values of the community they’re located in. Learn more about the GORP Act.
Join GPLI’s mailing list to receive updates and more information about the GORP Act. Show your support for preserving and protecting the public lands in Gunnison County by contacting your senator and telling them to support the GORP Act. The draft of the Gunnison Outdoor Resources Protection Act is online and available to be read. You can connect with this Initiative on Facebook and Instagram for updates as well.
Check out the other organizations in the Gunnison Valley that help make the land and the people here thrive.