Zephyr Minerals’ activity in the Grape Creek area

Our friends at Wild Connections have put together some great details about Zephyr Minerals’ activity in the Grape Creek area, and have also produced a video with a flyover of the area.  We thought our supporters would appreciate reading this detailed information.
We are excited to present a Grape Creek Virtual Tour, teaming up with our friends at EcoFlight, to highlight the illegal proposed mining threats to the Grape Creek Wilderness Study Area and proposed Wilderness.   The short video includes a recent EcoFlight flyover of the rugged and scenic Grape Creek watershed, just west of Cañon City, with expert “virtual passengers” practicing super safe social distancing measures, who explain the values of Grape Creek and the proposed mining threats to local wildlife, recreation, and the economy.
Mining Threats at Grape Creek

The Canadian company, Zephyr Minerals, has proposed gold mining exploration onto the Grape Creek Wilderness Study Area (WSA) and proposed Wilderness, which passed the US House earlier this year under the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act, part of Congresswoman DeGette’s Colorado Wilderness Act.
Last year the Colorado State Land Board approved a Conditional Use Permit for Zephyr Mineral’s proposed gold mining on the Grape Creek – Horseshoe Mountain State Stewardship Trust Parcel.  Zephyr is now looking to nearly triple their exploration onto BLM’s Grape Creek WSA, which should be illegal because the company does not have a valid existing right and thus their exploration violates BLM’s non-impairment criteria for WSA management.
Alarmingly, Fremont County approved the proposal earlier this year, and if it moves forward with state permits that Zephyr is currently seeking, exploration will begin this July as the local BLM Royal Gorge Field Office has decided not to even do an environmental review or public input process!
Exploratory mining impacts onto the Grape Creek proposed Wilderness will include drill holes, helicopter landing pads and low flyovers, and laying pipes that will pump water out of Grape Creek to the exploration sites.
Zephyr Minerals has erroneously claimed in a recent Cañon City Daily Record article that in utilizing helicopters there will be no impact, however low helicopter flying and landing greatly disturbs and stresses local wildlife, including the local Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep herd, Colorado’s official state animal. 

The Canadian mineral company also does not acknowledge the threats that their mining exploration, including pumping water out of Grape Creek, will have on the local fish population, angling and other backcountry recreation, or tourism and the local economy.
And most concerning is that instead of outright rejecting this illegal proposal, the BLM Royal Gorge Field Office is choosing to not even do an environmental assessment or public input process, even though they could and should, and would rather just work behind the scenes with Zephyr.  BLM Royal Gorge Field Manager, Keith Berger, signed off on this in a March 2020 letter to Zephyr. 
The BLM also manages this area of our public lands as the Grape Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern, which they have identified as “a corridor of significant naturalness character with unique high desert riparian resources, scenic and visual qualities, flora, and fauna values, including Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and peregrine falcon nesting areas”.  The BLM is supposed to manage and protect these critical environmental and recreational values.
Where do things stand now?
The Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining & Safety (DRMS) is currently assessing Zephyr’s mineral application proposal to expand onto the Grape Creek proposed Wilderness and WSA.  If DRMS notices any deficiencies in the application, then Zephyr will be asked to fix it.  This would be a 30-day process but could be extended up to a year at Zephyr’s request.   
DRMS is more focused on if this application meets Colorado’s minimum mining and safety standards, and will not likely address the legality of mining in BLM’s Wilderness Study Area or take other area values into the equation.  
Zephyr plans on beginning their mining exploration into the Grape Creek proposed Wilderness and WSA in July of this year!  If DRMS does approve their application, that is the track that we are unfortunately currently on.  
What can I do?
Since the BLM does not plan to have an official public comment period for this very disconcerting proposal, Wild Connections suggests that if you have any concerning comments or questions, or want to let the BLM know that they should not open up the Grape Creek Wilderness Study Area to illegal mining exploration, direct them to BLM Royal Gorge Field Manager, Keith Berger, at kberger@blm.gov.
  • BLM won’t be keeping an official record of these comments, so please CC your comment to info@wildconnections.org.
    If you sent a comment objection to Colorado DRMS last month, you can simply send the same comment to BLM.
Putting public pressure on the BLM is one of our best opportunities to get them to act responsibly as a steward for our Grape Creek public lands.
Jim, John, Alison, Claude, Karl, Misi, Kristin and John
Wild Connections Board and staff
Photos: Wild Connections banner: Jean Smith, EcoFlight Grape Creek Virtual Tour: EcoFlight, Grape Creek: Wild Connections

Democrat Primary Candidates

During the primary season, we will endeavor to provide a page and/or links to every candidate running for offices serving Fremont County. After our candidates have been selected to represent our values in the general election, we will focus the content here on those candidates and the pivotal issues. Basic information and links to their web sites can be found behind these links:

Senate Candidates to replace Gardner

Congressional District 5 Candidates to unseat Lamborn

Some candidates have sent additional messages and/or video presentations for your consideration. Those materials are provided below in formats provided by the candidates’ campaign managers. This additional information is provided for voter convenience and information.  Your Fremont County organizations does not endorse any candidate until after the primary election has selected our standard bearer.

(some videos may not play as expected due to formatting errors in the submissions by campaign managers. In most cases, the text links will work and will open in a new tab or window)


Fellow Democrat:

Thank you for attending your precinct caucus and committing to be a delegate. I appreciate your commitment to our cause, particularly in light of the current challenging public health and economic challenges our state and country are facing.

I would be honored to earn your support at the upcoming County and State Assemblies, most of which have been moved to an online or e-voting format through the hard work of our County Democratic Party officials across the state.

Why I’m running for the U.S. Senate:

Together we can combat the climate crisis, ensure health care for all, and build an economy that works for everyone. We can reduce the risk of gun violence, repair our broken immigration system, and—at the heart of so many other problems—reform the way we finance campaigns.

Achieving these goals will require more than a new President, although that’s essential. It will require a new senator and a new Democratic majority.

The good news: Colorado will elect a new senator this year. Cory Gardner trails even a generic Democrat by double digits.

But we deserve more than a generic Democrat. We deserve a leader who will bring both a strong set of legislative skills and a sense of urgency to Washington—someone who will act as if our lives depend on it … because they do.


Andrew Romanoff  —  I’m Asking for Your Vote

Trish Zornio Video Message:

Trish Zornio video message for Assembly

Trish Zornio for Senate

2 minutes (no captions)    —-    2 minutes (with captions)

3 minutes (no captions)    —-    3 minutes (with captions)

Jillian Freeland for Congressional District 5

Jillian Freeland message for Assembly

Your Help is Urgently Needed

We are excited to report that many new and old faces are enthusiastically supporting the Fremont County Democratic Party.  Over the last year we enjoyed many successes such as the Get Out The Vote drive, our annual FDR dinner, and generous Century Club donations.  Attendance at this fall’s debate watches has been phenomenal! Thanks to all of you for your support!

But we find ourselves at a crossroads and need your help.  We are in desperate need of people to step forward and replace the exhausted individuals who, with the support of countless others, have worked tirelessly over the years on events, fund raising, and the county caucus / assembly. 

Andrea Stein has graciously agreed to take over the Century Club.  Our most important source of funds, the Century Club was founded by Virgil Olson and Jim Milam in 2006, and has been most recently chaired by Roxanne Bradshaw. The Century Club is essential in keeping our office open.

The events committee, made up of Roxanne Bradshaw, Cathe Meyrick, Gloria Stultz, Donna Murphy, and Joan Parker, retired following last year’s FDR dinner and have not as yet been replaced.  While Donna Young has agreed to chair the Christmas party, and Janet Reither is chairing the FDR dinner.  Janet will need a lot of help putting on the dinner.  The FDR dinner has always been our second most important source of income as well as a chance to meet candidates and enjoy a great evening. We do not have a permanent events committee. Volunteer movers and shakers are needed for those important roles.

The upcoming caucus and county assembly are also in jeopardy.  Greg Sisk is the current organizer and contact person for this committee, but a chair and additional volunteers are needed.  We currently have several dedicated Precinct Committee Persons, however there are multiple openings to be filled at the caucus.

Party visibility is crucial to our presence in Fremont County!  Most important is the office, which has been managed and manned by Catherine Sounart for many years, and additional help is needed.  Other volunteer opportunities would include participating in community events such as parades, honk and waves, booths, and meet and greets– all to emphasize that there are Democrats living and working in Fremont County.

Please think about what you can contribute to the future of the Fremont County Democratic Party.  If not you, who? Bring your ideas to the Central Committee Meeting on Wednesday, November 13th, to show support for our local party and our chair, Heather Zimmerman.

Together we can do this!

Joan Parker, Secretary                                                                                                
Catherine Sounart, Office Manager

What We Believe

  • We believe that if you work hard, you deserve the opportunity to earn a good life.
  • We believe that our economy should work for those who work hard, not just those at the top.
  • We believe that government should work for the people, not just the well-connected and special interests.
  • We believe in creating more opportunities to earn a good life and increase incomes that allow families to get ahead and save for the future.
  • We believe that every Coloradan should have access to affordable health care, and that no one should go broke because they get sick.
  • We believe all children in Colorado deserve a high quality education, regardless of family income or their zip code.
  • We believe in rewarding businesses that create jobs here in Colorado and do right by their workers — not special interests and irresponsible corporations.
  • We believe that everyone should be treated equally under the law, and everyone should have the freedom to make their own choices and live the life they want.
  • We believe that everyone is entitled to clean air and water, and safe, livable communities.
  • We believe in protecting our public lands.
  • We believe in managing our growth to maintain the Colorado way of life. That means upgrading and modernizing our transportation, infrastructure, and our schools.
  • We believe that we all have a responsibility to ourselves, our families and our communities.
  • We believe that we have the power to change Colorado for the better.

Join us at ColoradoDems.org
and here at  http://FremontCountyDems.org

Central Committee Meeting


The Central Committee Meeting

is held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month

Quality Inn & Suites  3075 E. US 50, Canon City

See the Event Calendar for specific dates and details


 Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

Come early for dinner, drinks, and fellowship in the hotel restaurant.

x Logo: Shield
This Site Is Protected By
Skip to toolbar