Our vision is of public lands, wild and accessible to all.
Our mission is to protect the integrity, size and quality of our public lands in Colorado.
Our values reflect what we stand for, and what our stakeholders can count on from us. They are our enduring beliefs and ideals. Our values exert major influence on the behavior of our organization, and on the actions of all individuals and entities involved with Colorado Wild Public Lands.
WISDOM: Our wisdom comes from honoring the value of large, natural, holistic public landscapes.
RESPECT: We strive to earn respect by listening to different opinions and thoroughly researching the issues.
COMMITMENT: We are committed to the hard work required to be vigilant on natural public land issues.
FREEDOM OF ACCESS: We believe in freedom to access and enjoy our natural, unfettered landscapes.
INTEGRITY: We stand in the integrity of our word and our work.
PUBLIC LANDS DEFINED
We define public lands as those held in trust for the citizens of the United States and for enjoyment by all; these include lands with no statutory direction for disposition held by federal, state and local government. They are administered by the USFS, the NPS (National Parks and monuments), the US Department of Interior (BLM, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service), the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife, and by local governments. We hold all of these public lands as a fundamental feature of our identity as citizens of Colorado and as part of the larger community of citizens of the Western United States. Our public lands are what make Colorado our cherished home; as such, they are indivisible from our daily lives.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Our Guiding Principles reflect the fundamental norms, rules and ethics that represent what is desirable and affirmative for our organization. They guide our choices and decision-making process.
PUBLIC LANDS SHOULD REMAIN PUBLIC
We believe that public lands should remain public, unless there is an overwhelming public benefit from transferring or trading them to private interests. We will not allow outside agendas to influence decisions about the organization’s projects or agendas. Moreover, COWPL will choose its projects based on whether the outcome supports the organization’s vision, mission and values. We will not shy away because of the potential for controversy.
ACCESS IS IMPORTANT
We believe that public access to public lands is of the utmost importance. Public lands without access are essentially private lands; while we respect private property, COWPL will work to maintain and enhance public access to public lands.
STEWARDSHIP IS A SACRED TRUST
We believe that the increasing population of our nation means we have management challenges ahead that must be met by public management, not through privatization of the public landscape. The trust placed in public managers is a sacred trust, which must be exercised in an open and publicly accessible manner. We will work to ensure that information is accessible to members of the public and to land management organizations in order to encourage the most balanced and informed decision making possible.
We are a policy, rather than a science-based organization. To that end, we will support efforts, policies and decisions that help to ensure that we convey to future generations the lands, access, livelihoods and experiences we currently enjoy.
POWER OF THE PEOPLE AND PUBLIC AWARENESS
We believe in the transformative power of the people and grassroots efforts to initiate and drive long-term change. It is critical to have an independent voice to monitor and balance the efforts of private, business and commercial interests to detach the public from their lands and the assets and benefits connected to those lands. COWPL is committed to being a citizen voice and a conscience for future generations. We believe in being proactive, not reactive.
Public awareness is a major component of land preservation. The future enjoyment of public land hinges on the public’s interest and participation in the decision making processes. We believe an active, vigilant, impartial presence such as COWPL is necessary to monitor and intercede when necessary, in order to ensure that information is accessible to the public, allowing for the maintenance of public ownership and management. We are dedicated to empowering fellow citizens through fostering public lands awareness and education.
Protecting public land is our mission, and we will persevere in our efforts to protect the public’s interests. The land belongs to all of us, and we will endeavor to preserve it.
Recent Land Exchange Highlights
Bear Ranch, Central Colorado
Our members have brought attention to the Bear Ranch land exchange in Central Colorado which would have:
- closed public access to public lands
- impacted local trail planning efforts
- undervalued the public assets proposed for privatization
Sutey Ranch, Central Colorado
We have delayed and improved the proposed Sutey Ranch Land Exchange in Central Colorado through demanding a higher level of public process and debate about the inequitable quantity, quality, and undervaluation of the acreage in the proposal.
Members have also participated in the NEPA (EIS) process and used the Freedom of Information Act to encourage disclosure of the appraisals for the Sutey exchange.