High Country Conservation Advocates protects the health and natural beauty of the land, rivers, and wildlife in and around Gunnison County now and for future generations.
High Country Conservation Advocates was founded in 1977—as High Country Citizens’ Alliance—to protect Gunnison County, Colorado from a proposed molybdenum mine on Mt. Emmons. Known locally as “Red Lady,” Mt. Emmons rises directly above the Town of Crested Butte’s historic district. Since then, HCCA has successfully led the community in keeping Mt. Emmons mine-free and is now working with the local partners such as the Town of Crested Butte, Gunnison County, the current owner of the mine properties, and state and federal agencies to take advantage of an opportunity to secure permanent protection for Mt. Emmons.
Realizing that environmental threats go well beyond mining, HCCA developed public lands and water programs to protect these precious resources, upon which our local economy depends. As an outgrowth of this work, we have become Gunnison County’s environmental leader, protecting public lands, water, and wildlife in an area that covers more than 3,500 square miles–Gunnison County alone is comprised of over 80% public land and the Gunnison River is the 5th largest tributary to the Colorado River.
We are an advocacy organization that collaborates with local stakeholders and policymakers, applies sound science, educates, and upholds the environmental integrity of our community. We recognize that environmental sustainability is the key to a healthy economy.
We advocate for protection along the high alpine tundra of the Raggeds Wilderness and Collegiates, past the steep cliffs of the Black Canyon, from the North Fork of the Gunnison River’s rolling scrub oak hills and aspen groves, to the rushing waters of the Lake Fork. Our work ensures these iconic public lands and waters will be healthy for generations to come.
For 40 years, HCCA has collaborated with local stakeholders and policy makers and applied sound science to uphold the environmental integrity of our community.