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CPW completes management plan for Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area with BLM, USFS partners and releases document for public inspection online
CPW News Release
July 17, 2019

2019 AHRA Management Plan available for the public to read on the AHRA website

SALIDA, Colo. After three years of public meetings and discussions, the 2019 Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) Management Plan and Environmental Assessment is finalized and available for public inspection.

The AHRA Management Plan and Environmental Assessment provides the framework for managing numerous recreation activities along the 152-mile river corridor from the confluence of the East Fork and the main stem of the Arkansas River just below Leadville to Lake Pueblo State Park.

The release of this agreement between Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), follows a comprehensive review of environmental, recreational and cultural resources along with extensive public involvement and review of public input.

The CPW, BLM and USFS carefully considered key issues identified through a scoping process in 2016. These included boating capacities, management of fisheries and wildlife habitat, public river access and facilities.

The plan outlines future management in the recreation area, providing a diversity of recreation opportunities from primitive lower use/development opportunities to urban higher use/development opportunities.

Public input was a key factor considered by the AHRA partnership as it prepared its final management plan and environmental assessment.

The AHRA partnership manages river-based recreation through Browns Canyon National Monument. The BLM and USFS manage the 21,589-acre Browns Canyon National Monument, which was designated in 2015.

The online version of the plan is online at under the Arkansas Headwaters page. Here's a direct link:​. ​ For more information about the AHRA, call 719-539-7289, or visit the Visitor Center at the corner of G and Sackett Streets in Salida.

The Arkansas River is one of the most commercially rafted rivers in the U.S., drawing nearly 240,000 commercial boaters and generating an economic impact of more than $60 million annually. AHRA visitors enjoy rafting, kayaking, fishing, camping, hiking, picnicking, wildlife watching, mountain biking, rock climbing and even gold panning along the river, which is surrounded by canyons, valleys and towering mountain peaks in the upper Arkansas River valley.​​​​​​​​