Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area are situated between Gunnison and Montrose, Colorado. The overall untrammeled quality of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Wilderness is considered exceptional. Natural processes predominate, and there are few actions that control or manipulate the earth processes within the wilderness. There are some actions taken by the National Park Service to improve the natural condition, including monitoring elk, controlling nonnative plants, and responding to wildfires according to the fire management plan. These types of management actions slightly diminish the untrammeled quality. We are mapping threats to wilderness character at this National Park and the Recreation Area. These maps provide many benefits and uses. These maps improves wilderness planning and supplements the development of new wilderness stewardship plans. They show the current overall condition of wilderness character and how it varies across the Park and Recreation Area. They also provide a baseline measurement from which future monitoring can show spatial trends and changes in wilderness character over time. These maps also identify areas within a wilderness where resource managers should make an effort to control or mitigate impacts. And, finally, they improve internal staff communication about wilderness and wilderness character, and improve external communication between the agencies and the public on wilderness planning, and management to preserve wilderness character.