Located on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains along the Continental Divide, 100 km north-west of Denver (Colorado), this biosphere reserve and national park is managed for nature conservation, environmental education and public recreation purposes.
Designation date: 1977
Regional network: EuroMab
Surface : 349,543 ha
- Core area(s): 349,543 ha
- Buffer zone(s): N/A
- Transition zone(s): N/A
Location: 36°45'N; 118°30'W
The Biosphere Reserve's diverse flora includes some 120 families and 2175 species, subspecies and varieties, as listed by Rockwell and Stocking (1969). Oak-woodland (Quercus douglasii, Q. wislizenii) and chaparral (Adeuostoma fasciculatum
Arctostaphylos viscida) characterize the lower elevations, while mixed conifer (Abies concolor, Pinus ponderosa) and red fir (Abies magnifica) forests and montane meadows occupy the middle elevations, and subalpine forests (and meadows, krummholz, as well as alpine ecosystems typify the higher elevations.
A rich fauna includes 73 species of mammals, 194 birds, 22 reptiles, and 10 amphibians. The native fauna is intact except for Ursus horribili and Ganus lupus, the former eliminated prior to 1924.
The Parks receive a huge amount of tourists. According to estimates by the National Parks Conservation Association, the annual speding by park visitors was at $121 million in 2013 with a subsequent creation of 1,514 jobs.
Tourism is only a small part of the regional local economy, which is based mostly in local agriculture.
Last updated: June 2019