Public Lands Recreation and Tourism

Keystone addresses public lands conservation, recreation and access, and resource use challenges with collaborative solutions. Our recent work includes:

  • Navigating multi-jurisdictional and multi-stakeholder public lands challenges through ongoing roundtables.

  • Addressing key issues for visitor use management and sustainability.

  • Working with racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse leaders to advance policy recommendations, storytelling, and mentorship programs focused on outdoor equity.

  • Developing solutions for complex, place-based recreational and resource use conflicts.

  • Connecting local and national efforts to advance principles and actions at the intersection of people, public lands and climate change.

  • Enhancing Tribal engagement on public lands and resources issues.

Featured Projects

Colorado’s Outdoors Strategy

Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Colorado Governor’s Office are convening an effort to develop a regionally rooted, statewide vision and action plan for conservation, recreation, and climate resilience. State partners are working with Keystone Policy Center, SE Group, the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, and the University of Colorado-Boulder graduate program in Environmental Studies (MENV) to deliver a plan incorporating diverse stakeholder input and scientific expertise with key milestones between now and 2026. Learn more about this project.

Clear Creek County Recreation in the Outdoors Management Plan

The Clear Creek ROMP is a County-wide, community-informed, outdoor recreation plan bringing local land managers together, engaging the community, federal and state land managers and providing crucial context and clarity for decision making and spending for the next 10 years. The plan will help to protect the county’s natural resources and provide high quality recreational amenities that can support a sustainable economy. The ROMP will articulate a guiding vision, values, definitions, goals, and priority projects. It will also identify next steps and opportunities for partnerships and funding. Keystone, in partnership with SE Group, is facilitating a process involving an interagency team, and planning partners team, community focus groups and surveys, and research to inform the final management plan.

Next 100 Colorado

Keystone Policy Center facilitates Next 100 Colorado, which focuses on workforce diversity at land management agencies and across the conservation and outdoor recreation industries; ensuring equitable outdoor access for all people; and using outdoor spaces to tell accurate, complex, uplifting, and healing stories about our state lands. Next 100 Colorado also leads a mentorship program for people of color working as leaders in conservation and/or outdoor recreation.

Routt Recreation & Conservation Roundtable

In early 2019, Keystone worked with stakeholders and community members in Steamboat Springs, CO to develop recommendations for the U.S. Forest Service regarding a controversial system of proposed recreational trails dubbed the Mad Rabbit Trails project. Following the development of those recommendations, Keystone began helping with the establishment of a locally facilitated, standing recreation roundtable with a broader focus for the entire Routt National Forest. The roundtable conducted its first meeting in August 2019 and continues meeting today.

Two Elk Target Range Community Engagement

The Two Elk Target Range has been on the landscape for over 50+ years. It began as a dispersed shooting area which occupies National Forest System lands. The United States Forest Service (USFS) has worked with local recreational shooting enthusiasts over the long history of the range. However, concerned citizens in the town of Minturn have expressed issue with having an unmanaged target range so close to houses, walking trails, and bike-park. Keystone leads a cooperative process to outline the desired conditions and recommendation for actions that will help achieve a collaborative vision regarding future management of the Two Elk Target Range.

Colorado Tourism Leadership Journey

The Colorado Tourism Leadership Journey was created by the Colorado Tourism Office to create a one-year leadership experience for high-potential middle managers with a demonstrated commitment to a career in the tourism industry and a passion for sharing the Colorado experience. Under the purview of the Colorado Tourism Office, the program aims to strengthen Colorado’s competitive advantage through development of a stronger, more unified, engaged high-performance tourism industry that will be even better equipped to be the leading economic driver in the state. The Leadership Journey explores a variety of topics in tourism, including as related to recreation and destination management for Colorado’s popular public lands. You can check out the Keynotes Podcast episode about the Colorado Tourism Leadership Journey here.

NoCo PLACES 2050

The population along Colorado’s Front Range is growing, with the seven metro counties projected to reach 4.2 million people by 2050. This growth corresponds to an increasing demand for recreation, which is straining the capacity of public lands. In response, eight public land management agencies formed NoCoPLACES 2050 (NoCo) to address the challenge of conserving natural and cultural resources while providing equitable access and a quality recreation experience for current and future generations. Keystone helps NoCo realize this vision by managing a series of core topic investigations to find insights and uncover trends.

Eldorado Canyon State Park Visitor Use Management Plan

As Colorado’s – and the West’s – population and recreational tourism industry continue to grow, conflicts regarding land use, recreation, and community interests also continue to emerge. Keystone is facilitating a year-long engagement and planning effort with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to develop Visitor Use Management Planning for Eldorado Canyon State Park, which has experienced rapid increases in visitor use that are straining park access and resources. This effort will create a model for how the agency handles visitor use concerns statewide. We are partnering with SE Group, a Summit County-based and nationally recognized land management analysis and planning firm, to bring complementary skill sets to public land planning efforts.

Browns Canyon National Monument

Keystone facilitated discussions for the Friends of Browns Canyon and a coalition of residents who wanted to offer recommendations for a federal resource management plan for the Browns Canyon National Monument. The coalition representing numerous organizations with diverse interests and experience conducted a series of meetings to discuss a shared set of recommendations for the Bureau of Land Management and the United States Forest Service. The result of those meetings was a comprehensive Sustainable Alternative Plan outlining the recommendations for the federal agencies.

Past Projects and Reports

Moab Master Leasing Plan Stakeholder Workshops

South Park Master Leasing Plan Stakeholder Workshops

Carlsbad RMP Roundtable

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