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Why wilderness?

Recreation in the White River National Forest

Below is some information about recreation in the White River National Forest:

4 out of 5 of National Forest users prefer to recreate without a machine…

Concerned forest service employees describe how ATVs, ORVs, and snowmobiles harm our National Forests.

Research demonstrates increased stress to wildlife due to snowmobiles.

Data shows greater amount of use by cross country skiers than snowmobilers.

On the White River National Forest:

  • 81% of backcountry visitors recreate on foot, horseback, kayak or raft.
  • 13% of backcountry visitors ride motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles or motorboats.
  • 6%   of backcountry visitors ride mountain bikes.

Source: US Forest Service, National Visitor Use Monitoring Results, White River National Forest, Nov. 2008

Snowmobilers represent just 1% of White River National Forest users.

Source: US Forest Service, National Visitor Use Monitoring Results, White River National Forest, Nov. 2008

Coloradoans say Wilderness is important…

  • 90% agree that wilderness areas are important economically for the hunting, fishing, and
    tourism they support.

Source: Talmey-Drake poll, 2007

A USFS survey of people living in counties within 75 miles of the White River
National Forest shows:

  • 72% use non-motorized, non-mechanized travel for “nature-based land activities.”
  • 15% use motorized equipment (4WDs, OHVs, motorcycles) for “nature-based land activities.
  • 13% percent ride mountain bikes.

Source: U.S. Forest Service, Recreation and Tourism Statistics Update, Sept. 2006

Wilderness is all about multiple recreational uses…  Hunting, fishing, cross country skiing, hiking, backpacking, camping, snowshoeing, kayaking, rafting, climbing and horseback riding are all allowed.

No campgrounds or other recreational facilities will be closed.

Grazing, fire fighting and helicopter rescues are permitted in wilderness.

Wilderness is open to everyone.