Wilderness Proposal Areas in the Roaring Fork Valley
Wilderness proposal areas in the Roaring Fork Valley have had been extensive boundary adjustments to make a proposal that truly represents our community. Out of 300,000 acres originally proposed as wilderness, 153,000 contested acres have been cut, over half of the original proposal. Most of these 63 adjustments were made in the interests of recreational groups such as bikers, snowmobilers, and ATVers. Here are a few of the particulars:
- 22,469 acres removed in Thompson Creek for snowmobilers and ranchers.
- The entire 23,000 acre Sloan Peak proposal removed for bikers.
- Popular routes such as tall pines, Hay Park and the hunter Creek Loop are outside of the proposal.
- Over 3,000 acres removed for Climbers to allow power tools for bolting.
Click here for a list of all adjustments made in the Roaring Fork Valley Area
New wilderness only affects 12 miles out of the 1,008 miles of Forest roads and bike trails in the Roaring Fork Valley! Only 2 of those are bike trails. Click here for details of the minimal impact new wilderness would have on recreation in the Roaring Fork Valley
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Wild Areas: Wilderness protects the wild aspects that so many of us appreciate about Colorado. The mountains, rivers, forests and meadows – and all the creatures that call them home – that comprise our most treasured landscapes deserve the highest protection.
Bikers: No existing legal bike trails on Forest Service lands in the Roaring Fork Valley will be closed. All trails on Basalt Mountain will be open. The Hay Park Trail will be open from start to finish along with the Buzzard Basin loop. The Hunter Creek trail system is unaffected along with the Braderich Trail above Redstone. Check out www.bike-wild.org to join a group of mountain bikers who support the Wilderness.
Motorists: All roads on Red Table will remain open, along with the snowmobile play area by the FAA tower. Except for one mile of severly eroding road, all full-sized vehicle routes and all motorcycle routes will remain open. All Basalt Mountain motorized routes and bike trails will remain open.
Ranchers: Local ranchers have endorsed 20,000 acres of the Assignation Ridge proposal area. Another group of ranchers requested that over 5,000 acres be added to the Hay Park proposal in their grazing area. Ranchers can continue to graze and carry out all their historic uses, including motorized uses.
Roaring Fork Valley areas
Life is good here in western Colorado, thanks in large part to our wild and scenic backcountry. Some of this stunning terrain will stay forever wild. Wilderness designation ensures that places like the Maroon Bells-Snowmass, Hunter-Fryingpan and Holy Cross Wilderness Areas are permanently protected for future generations to enjoy.
But most of the surrounding public lands, remain unprotected, and at risk. It’s time to secure a new generation of wilderness.
Coloradans want more wilderness. No fewer than 70% of West Slope residents strongly support additional wilderness near their communities, and more than 90% of Coloradans believe wilderness is important to the economy and their quality of life. (Talmey-Drake Research & Strategy, Inc., 2007)
Senator Udall and Representative Jared Polis are championing major new wilderness additions on the White River National Forest and nearby Bureau of Land Management lands. Their proposals along with other citizen proposed wilderness areas will create several brand-new, stand-alone wilderness areas, and significantly enlarge the existing ones.
In the Roaring Fork Valley, new wilderness proposals includes the following areas: