Bennet, Hickenlooper, Neguse Introduce Bill to Expand Sarvis Creek Wilderness

Washington, D.C. — Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper alongside U.S. Representative Joe Neguse introduced the Sarvis Creek Wilderness Completion Act. This bill would expand the Sarvis Creek Wilderness Area in Routt National Forest by 6,817 acres, protecting sub-alpine wilderness habitats and wildlife while providing increased access to outdoor recreation.  

“Colorado’s public lands are a cornerstone of our Western way of life, and for decades, this Northwest Colorado landscape has deserved further protection. Local elected officials, outdoor recreation, agriculture, water and environmental leaders came together to craft this legislation that protects critical watersheds, enhances wildlife habitat and safeguards outdoor exploration for Coloradans. I’m grateful for Senator Hickenlooper’s leadership on this bill, and I look forward to helping move this forward in the Senate,” said Bennet.

“The Sarvis Creek Wilderness is a destination for outdoor recreation and an ecological gem, with a pristine landscape that is close to Steamboat Springs,” said Hickenlooper. “Expanding its preservation protects Colorado lands and grows our outdoor rec economy!” 

“For years, I’ve been proud to work alongside Senators Hickenlooper and Bennet to ensure critical protections for our state’s treasured outdoor spaces. And today, I'm thrilled to once again join forces as we introduce legislation that expands the Sarvis Creek Wilderness – located in the Routt National Forest – by over 6,000 acres,” said Neguse. “It is critical that we take the necessary steps to preserve our public lands in Yampa Valley and protect local wildlife for generations to come. And as the Ranking Member on the Federal Lands Subcommittee, I’m committed to getting this bill across the finish line.”

Specifically, the bill would:

  • Fulfill the community’s vision for the entire Sarvis Creek wilderness area by adding 6,817 acres on to the existing 44,556 acres, which had originally been excluded due to a previously-proposed plan to develop a ski area. 

  • Extend wilderness protection to the Harrison and Green Creek watersheds—rare, pristine sub-alpine regions that feed into the Yampa River, safeguarding aquatic resources and preserving water quality.

  • Protect winter range and spring calving areas for the 250-300 elk that inhabit the area in addition to habitats for other native Colorado fish and wildlife.

  • Provide easy public access from Steamboat Springs and Stagecoach for low impact recreation—including hunting, fishing, back-country skiing and hiking.

The text of the bill is available HERE.