Throughout the summer, the members of Trout Unlimited’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Project will be featuring a series of blogs. For more information about Trout Unlimited or to become a member, go to tu.org
With tourism, hunting and angling being important economic drivers, keeping healthy habitat through intact backcountry areas is paramount.
• About 14.5 of Colorados 66.6 million acres are public U.S. Forest Service land.
• Of those 14.5 million acres, about 4.4 million, or 30 percent are inventoried roadless areas.
• Currently about 11,000 acres are recommended for wilderness in Colorado.
Located along both sides of the Rabbit Ears Range that divides North Park and Middle Park of Colorado is the Troublesome Complex. Users in the summer can fish for brook, rainbow and German brown trout in the many streams within the area. Hikers and backpackers can enjoy many of the Troublesome’s great vistas. Parts of Troublesome North are open to snowmobiling in the winter.
The area includes two Forest Service roadless areas (Troublesome North – 31,700 acres and Troublesome South – 47,000 acres) and a BLM Wilderness Study Area (Troublesome WSA – 8,158 acres). Wildlife uses include a migration corridor for mule deer and elk, winter range and summer range. Shiras moose are common here and most, if not all, of the creeks and streams have fisheries including populations of brook, rainbow, and German brown trout.
The number one users of the Troublesome area are deer, elk and moose hunters. Middle Park (GMUs 18, 181) has some of the finest deer hunting in Colorado. Limited buck deer licenses for the 4th rifle season are becoming some of the most sought after licenses in Colorado with the opportunity to harvest a Boone & Crockett trophy. For the past several years “additional licenses” (hunters can obtain two licenses) for doe deer have been available in both units.
Grazing of cattle is allowed as there are several term grazing permits. Ranchers with grazing permits may request authorization to use motor vehicles for management activities. Additionally, the complex has a number of permitted special use communication sites; along Rabbit Ears Divide, adjacent to NFSR 104, Arapaho Ridge Snotel, (an automated system that collects snow pack and related climatic data) and near the summit of Parkview Mountain Access to all sites for monitoring, maintenance, and repair is by motorized vehicles. Landowners can access private in holdings by motor vehicle.