Peak & Prairie

Rocky Mountain Chapter's
Online Newsletter
June / July 1999

 

Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project Working to Help the Environment

by Laurie Mayworm and Carissa Goddard
RMC Office Apprentices, Jefferson County Open School

 

The Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project (SREP) is working to help keep areas that are uninhabited stay that way and to connect certain areas/ecosystems where possible. SREP is specifically working in the areas surrounding the South Platte, the Arkansas head waters, Pike National Forest, San Isabel National Forest, Canyon City and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands throughout Colorado.

SREP has about 140 people who are physically involved with the project. The people involved find areas that are not populated by people, and then map the roads in those areas. They drive, hike and mountain bike on the roads or trails and look at these areas for roads that are not being used or roads that are bad for that area.

Their main goal is to try to make a specific management plan that will help keep the areas safe, beautiful and wild. Another goal is to restore the area and return some of the native animals. To reach these goals, they need to meet with the Forest Service and also find out where the animals were historically. It will take about two years to accomplish this main goal. The restoration goals could take up to 100 years to accomplish.

Jean Smith, the RMC Ecosystem Mapping Chair provided this information. She also has been the coordinator of SREPís Upper Arkansas and South Platte Project for five years. She does some mapping, and she usually does all of the computer work. To contact Jean, call 303-388-3378, or email jeancsmith@earthlink.net.

The Sierra Club financially supports the project and half of SREPís volunteers are from the Sierra Club. SREP is still looking for volunteers. They are hoping to have 30-40 more people to help map and 200 people involved with the management plan. To find out more about the Ecosystems Mapping Project, call 303-861-8819 or email rmc_office@juno.com.

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