Colorado - Deep Creek

State: Colorado
Region: Flat Tops
Description:

Deep Creek flows from the Flat Tops and Deep Lake through one of Colorado’s most spectacular and rugged canyons before it joins the Colorado River. Deep Creek was found to be the only creek “suitable” for Wild and Scenic designation by both the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. The canyon is one of the most unique and truly pristine, untouched environments left in Colorado. It is home to several very rare plant communities, the largest complex of caves in the western US, and the scenery is outstanding. A Wild & Scenic designation by Congress will protect this unique ecosystem, prohibit dams and inappropriate development, grant a quarter-mile protective buffer around the stream, and require a management plan to guide protection of its natural and recreational values while respecting private property and water rights. The canyon is almost inaccessible by foot or vehicle, so overflights are the only way for passengers to see and fully appreciate the area. The historic, and current threat to Deep Creek comes from limestone mining, and the U.S.F.S is also deeply concerned about a potential new threat.