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Proposal Areas

No Name

3,810 acres (6 square miles)

Setting

The proposed No Name Wilderness Addition is dominated by the high Homestake Ridge along the Continental Divide, and the Bennett Gulch drainage to the Eagle River. The head of Bennett Gulch is a rugged, glacier-formed cirque, above an extensive wet subalpine meadow system. The ridge supports an alpine environment, giving way to forested uplands of Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir. Closer to FS 705, lodgepole pines and aspens are present. The elevation ranges from 10,600 feet (on FS 705) to 12,696 feet (at the head of Bennett Gulch). While much of the terrain is rolling forest, the Homestake and Continental Divide ridges are protected by very steep talus slopes.

What’s special about it

Wild character: The proposed No Name Addition is adjacent to the southeast portion of the Holy Cross Wilderness, and has retained a high degree of wilderness quality. The area has historically been free from human disturbance, and is an excellent place for solitude in a pristine alpine setting with outstanding views of the Sawatch Range along Homestake Ridge.
Recreation: 10th Mountain Hut is just south of the proposed wilderness addition providing backcountry skiing access. This landscape also sees a moderate amount of use by hunters.
Ecology: The meadows in upper Bennett Gulch are prime examples of subalpine wetlands. This landscape contains habitat for the state-endangered (and USFWS threatened) lynx, and is part of a very important wildlife migration corridor along the Continental Divide connecting the Holy Cross and Eagles Nest Wilderness Areas. The Colorado Division of Wildlife has introduced bighorn sheep here, which provides critical winter habitat. It is also already summer range for both elk and mule deer.

Potential threats

Logging: The Yoder timber sale has been proposed in the northern portion of this area, and would necessitate road construction.
Motor recreation: An unmaintained trail along Homestake Ridge from FS 705 is occasionally illegally used by 4WD vehicles. The vehicle tracks may be seen crossing delicate sections of alpine tundra, and could be evident for decades.

Division of Wildlife habitat qualities, species of significance

No Name has areas of rolling valleys to very steep slopes and high ridges containing spruce fir, high alpine meadows (tundra), scree fields, mountain shrub, aspen, lodgepole pine and grassland meadows. The area supports abundant wildlife; elk, deer, black bear, mountain lion, ptarmigan, blue grouse, pine martin, snow shoe hare, bighorn sheep, moose, boreal toad, and lynx. Due to its high elevation, winter use is limited to bighorn sheep, ptarmigan, pine martin, blue grouse, moose, snowshoe hare and lynx. In the summer, the area provides high quality elk habitat, summer concentration areas, summer range, production areas and migration corridors. The area is part of a bighorn sheep transplant to rebuild the historical bighorn sheep herd in the Holy Cross Wilderness Area. Lynx have been documented in the area and it provides a connection across the Continental Divide, one of the USFS management prescriptions is 5.5 forest landscape linkages.

Outreach results
The boundaries for this proposal have been adjusted to allow for continued operation of essential municipal water supply facilities. An motorized access corridor providing hunter access to Holy Cross Wilderness boundary has been preserved between No Name and Homestake areas.

Other info
A small and undeveloped private inholding exists in upper Bennett Gulch. The proposed No Name Addition is one of ten roadless areas that, with the Holy Cross Wilderness, comprise a large roadless complex of over 165,000 acres (257 square miles). It is contiguous with the 7,700 acre Holy Cross East Roadless Area on the San Isabel National Forest.

How to get there

The proposed No Name Addition to the Holy Cross Wilderness is located about 8 miles north of Leadville to the west of Tennessee Pass.

  • Access to the area is from US Highway 24 between Leadville and Red Cliff. The eastern boundary of the unit is No Name Road (FS 705), which you can get to on its south end just below the south side of Tennessee Pass, or on its north end near Pando, about 4 miles south of Red Cliff. This road is not plowed in winter. There are no maintained hiking trails in this unit, although an unmaintained trail climbs south from FS 705 along the Homestake Ridge on the western boundary of the unit. This route provides a wonderful overview of the area, particularly upper Bennett Gulch.
  • The USGS 7 1/2' quads for the proposed No Name Addition are Pando, Mountain of the Holy Cross, and Leadville North.