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 Flat Tops, Maroon Bells-Snowmass, Holy Cross, Eagles Nest, Raggeds and West Elks 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.
One of the main reasons to protect more wilderness is the economic benefit it provides to surrounding communtities especially those like ours,; dependent upon tourism and recreation for large portions of their economies. For a comprehensive summary of recent scientific studies demonstrating the economic benfitis of designated wilderness, protected public lands and ecological values click here.
Representative Polis and Senator Udall are proposing major new wilderness additions on the White River National Forests and nearby Bureau of Land Management lands. Their proposals will create several brand-new, stand-alone wilderness areas, and significantly enlarge the existing ones. Please join us as we work to support their this bold and exciting visions!
Some people who live, work and play in the areas in and around the White River National Forest are understandably concerned that wilderness designation would prevent them from riding bikes, motorcycles, ATVs and cars into the back-country.
While it is true that these forms of mechanized travel are prohibited in wilderness, Representative Polis and Senator Udall's proposals would affect less than half of 1% of roads and trails in the White River National Forest and surrounding BLM lands. Their Wilderness prposals would have no affect on the 1,056 miles of designated bike trails plus access to all roads and trails designated for motorized use. 1,996 miles of roads and trails would remain open to use by motorcycles and ATVs.
Their Wilderness proposals would close less than 16 miles of motorcycle and ATV trails and less than 5 miles of designated bike routes.
That's it - Representative Polis and Senator Udall's prposals would close only 4 miles of motorized routes and no bike routes in Eagle County, only 1.5 miles of bike routes and no motorized routes in Summit County and only 12 miles of motorized routes and no bike routes in Pitkin County.