EcoFlight flew the Colorado Canyons Association over the National Conservation Areas of Dominguez and McInnis Canyons and the Gunnison Gorge.
Known for its herds of desert bighorn sheep and ancient rock art, the 210,000-acre Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area ( NCA) encompasses serpentine redrock sandstone canyons that slice deeply into some of the wildest areas of the Uncompahgre Plateau west of Montrose and Delta in Colorado. The 60,000-acre Dominguez Canyon Wilderness at the core of the NCA protects Big and Little Dominguez canyons and the wildlife and solitude that are found in great abundance there. The Dominguez-Escalante NCA is Colorado's third NCA, following the success of nearby McInnis Canyons and Gunnison Gorge NCAs, all of which include wilderness areas at their core.
The McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area consists of approximately 123,000 acres of BLM-administered land near Grand Junction, Colorado. Among its unique natural resources are the more than 75,000 acres of the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness, which includes the second-largest concentration of natural arches in North America and numerous pictograph and petroglyph sites.
The Gunnison Gorge NCA in west-central Colorado is a diverse landscape ranging from adobe badlands to rugged pinon and juniper-covered slopes. The NCA supports a variety of upland, riparian, and aquatic wildlife species and habitats and the Gunnison River is designated as a Gold Medal Trout Fishery by the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
National conservation areas (NCAs) are designated by Congress to conserve, protect, enhance, and manage public lands for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. These lands feature exceptional scientific, cultural, ecological, historical, and recreational values.
The Colorado Canyons Association fosters community stewardship of National Conservation Area lands and supports a potential NCA designation for the Northern Dolores region.