Target: Colorado Forest Service
Goal: Protect endangered Greenback Cutthroat Trout habitat in Pike and San Isabel National Forest
The Greenback Cutthroat Trout, an endangered species and Colorado’s state fish, is struggling to survive in a limited area in Bear Creek of the Pike and San Isabel National Forest. The National Forest Service continues to allow off-road vehicle use near the creek, pushing sediment into the water, disrupting the aquatic ecosystem and hydrology, and ultimately preventing the survival of trout eggs.
Populations of the trout species have been in sharp decline, and now occupy only a small area of seven miles of Bear Creek in the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado. Old maps on the Forest Service website for this region lead directly in and around the creek, severely damaging surrounding ecosystems and the health of the creek. So far the Forest Service has made no effort to update the maps or restrict off-road vehicle use in the park, claiming that it will take a federal judge to encourage any significant changes in regard to protecting the creek or trout.
The Center for Biological Diversity has notified the Forest Service and Colorado Springs Utility, on whose land some of the creek flows, of how they are illegally affecting the trout, and how they could reroute the off-road vehicle trails to avoid destroying habitat. As neither has taken active steps towards complying with the law, the Center has filed a suit in federal court against the Pike and San Isabel National Forest. Please demand that the Colorado Forest Service comply with the law and protect this endangered native trout by rerouting trails in the park so they do not further destroy habitat.
Dear Colorado Forest Service,
Trails through the Pike and San Isabel National Forest are allowing continuous destruction of habitat in and around the Bear Creek, further endangering Colorado’s state fish, the Greenback Cutthroat Trout. The trout is listed as an endangered species, and populations, which are limited to seven miles of the Bear Creek are in sharp decline due to habitat destruction.
Off-road vehicle use of trails running close and into the the creek pushes sediment into the creek which then buries trout eggs. Further, this trail use destroys ecosystems in and surrounding the creek, and disrupts creek hydrology, jeopardizing the survival of the trout. The Forest Service must phase-out old maps and reroute trails away from the creek.
Please take action on the proposals of the Center for Biological Diversity, comply with the law regarding endangered species, and protect the habitat of Colorado’s Greenback Cutthroat Trout.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: jonwc via Flickr