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Support new wilderness in the Central Mountains of Colorado

Senator Udall and Representative Polis are both working to protect special public lands in Central Colorado with a Wilderness designation. Rep. Polis has introduced a bill and Sen. Udall is considering a bill.  

The most important thing you can do to ensure these lands get the protection they deserve is to submit a comment on Sen. Udall's website or write a letter to the editor.

Click here to submit a comment on Sen. Udall's Wilderness Proposal

Watch video of Sen. Udall announce plans to designate new wilderness.

Map of Udall's Wilderness ProposalClick for a full resolution map
Sen. Udall's Wilderness Proposal
In The Newsall news - click here

What is Sen. Udall's Central Mountains Outdoor Heritage Proposal?

U.S. Senator Mark Udall is proposing to protect nearly 240,000 acres in the Central Rockies of Colorado with wilderness and similar designations. These lands are some of Colorado’s most precious, ecologically important public lands.  His Central Mountains Outdoor Heritage Proposal, which he is discussing with mountain communities, is a bold vision that will add to our nation’s wilderness legacy and support Colorado’s recreation- and agriculture-based economies. 

Sen. Udall's wilderness proposal by the numbers:

  • 235,773 acres
  • 12 new stand alone areas and 17 additions to existing Wilderness Areas
  • Includes national forest and adjacent BLM lands
  • Spans three counties – Pitkin, Eagle and Summit.
Economic Benefits of Wilderness

What’s allowed in Wilderness:
- Hunting                    - Hiking
- Fishing                     - Backpacking
- Camping                  - Skiing
- Photography             - Education
- Rock climbing           - Scientific research
- Kayaking/rafting       - Livestock grazing
- Wheelchair access (motorized and mechanized allowed) for
   mobility impaired persons

What’s not allowed:
-    New mining
-    Gas and oil drilling (except where leases exist)
-    Logging
-    Motorized travel, including snowmobiles, ATVs, motorcycles 
-    Mechanized travel, including mountain bikes and hang gliders
-    Click here for detailed report from the Backcounty Hunters on the impacts of motorized travel to land and wildlife  

Udall's Central Mt. Wilderness Proposal

Vail Resorts endorses Udall's proposal

Click for article

Udall's Central Mt. Wilderness Proposal

Sen. Udall announces wilderness proposal

Click here to submit a comment

Aspen Daily News photo- Scott Tipton

Business owners lobby Tipton to work on Wilderness

Click for article

Aspen Daily News Front Page

Senator Bennet says he's ready to start working on 3rd district Gems legislation

Click for article

Polis draft maps

Denver Post Op-ed on Polis's Wilderness Bill

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Gunnison County Gems Proposal Book

Jared Polis reintroduces wilderness bill

Click for article

Click image for a video of the event 

Gunnison County Gems Proposal Book

Gunnison County  Endorses the Hidden Gems

Click for article


Pitkin Gems Wilderness Area Booklet

Pitkin County Unanimously Endorses Gems

Click for article

Listen to public comments from the meeting

Copy of Polis Bill


Polis Introduces Wilderness Bill!

Read the Bill

Pitkin Gems Wilderness Area Booklet

Pitkin County prepares support for Hidden Gems

News Story

Read the proposal

ATVers out for a ride

Radio Series on Hidden Gems

KDNK Community Radio

Polis draft maps

Polis Releases Draft Legislation
Aspen Times
Summit County Voice
Aspen Daily News

Polis draft maps

Forest Supervisor Supports Polis on Gems
Vail Daily, August 19, 2010 (story)

Asprn Snowmass Logo

Aspen SkiCo Endorses the Hidden Gems Aspen Daily News, June 22, 2010 (story)

Cross Country skier

Quiet winter recreationalists outspend snowmobilers 3 to 1.  Aspen Daily News, June 14, 2010 (story)


Aspen Center for Environmental Studies Op-ed in support of Hidden Gems.  Aspen Time, June 8, 2010 (story)

Photo of tree in williams fork

Motorized groups continue to make misleading statements about Hidden Gems.  Summit County Voice, June 4, 2010 (story)


Back-country Hunter supports wilderness - Good for big game.  Summit Daily News, May 25, 2010 (story)

Hidden Gems Poll

Poll Shows Strong Support for Hidden Gems.  Aspen Daily News, April 14, 2010 (story)

Click for more info

ATVers out for a ride

Half of Hidden Gems Proposal sent to Washington KBUT Community Radio, April 19, 2010

Click for more info

Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal for Summit and Eagle Counties presented to Congress. Summit Daily News, April 6, 2010 (story)

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Red Sandstone Pillars in the Basalt Mountain Proposal Area

Gems Campaign collaborating with former opponents.
Aspen Daily News Feb 27, 2010

click here for article

Maroon Bells

Wildernes generates increased revenues for the Forest Service: Money to fund staffing and maintence.  Aspen Times, Feb. 27
click here for article

 Agricultual fields  Grand Valley Citizens Alliance endorses the Hidden Gems: Aspen Times Feb. 15, 2010 (more)
Red dust on snowfield   How ORV use contributes to the red dust on Colorado's Snow: LTE, Aspen Times. Jan. 22 (more)
Adjusted map of the Hidden Gems Thompson Creek Proposal Area following input from local ranchers
2 Pitken County Ranchers Voice Support for Wilderness:
Aspen Daily News Jan, 19 - "Gems campaign gains ranchers' support . ."  (more)

Elk herd

Aspen Public Radio interview: Hidden Gems and RFMBA, Nov. 10, 2009 click here

Elk herd

Confessions of an off-road outlaw:High County News, Nov. 6, 2009 click here



Rep. Polis

Rep. Polis:With Wilderness designation, process matters Summit Daily, Nov. 4, 2009 click here

Gas pads in Garfield County

 A voice from the sky: Bruce Gordon of EcoFlight provides a unique perspective on our landscape
Aspen Daily News, Oct. 26, 2009 (more)

ATVers out for a ride

Radio Interview on the wilderness debate: KDNK, Oct. 8, 2009
click here to listen