Letters: Support for new Colorado wilderness

Will Congress act?

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A view of the Gore Range from the flanks of the Williams Fork Range, at the edge of a new wilderness area proposed by Congressman Jared Polis. @bberwyn photo.

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A map of the areas covered by the Continental Divide Wilderness and Recreation Act.

FRISCO — In May, Congressman Jared Polis reintroduced a bill to create about 39,000 acres of new wilderness in Summit and Eagle counties.

According to Polis, the Continental Divide Wilderness and Recreation Act will help sustain recreational resources, protect watersheds, preserve important wildfire corridors, and strengthen Colorado’s tourism economy.

Along with new wilderness, the bill would also designate 16,000 acres as special management areas for recreation, and where some other activities, including wildfire mitigation and forest health treatments would be permitted.

Trace the history of Polis’ push for new wilderness in the central Colorado mountains in these Summit Voice stories going back to 2010.

Letters:

Dear Editor,

Congressman Jared Polis’ introduction of the Continental Divide Wilderness and Recreation Act should be applauded. This bill, the result of 5 years of local community engagement and consensus, is important not just to the central Rocky Mountains but to Colorado as a whole. Many Coloradans know this area for the endless recreational opportunities, whether it’s hiking, biking, camping, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, or just relaxing. As the owner of Seymour Lodging Corp, Colorado wilderness is of particular importance to me.

Owning a small business is never easy, particularly when your business is dependent on external factors such as weather and consumer discretionary income. Fortunately for myself and many other small business owners across the state, the designation of wilderness, in addition to enhancing quality of life, makes local tourism a little more secure.

The Continental Divide Wilderness and Recreation Act protects many areas in the White River National Forest, which draws more than 9 million visitors annually; these visitors then support local tourism and outdoor recreation businesses.

The outdoor recreation industry in Colorado is a critical part of the state’s economy which generates $13.2 billion annually in consumer spending, and supports 125,000 jobs which pay over $4 billion in wages to Coloradans. Many small mountain towns count on tourism and outdoor recreation to stay afloat. I know personally how difficult this can be, and I would like to thank Congressman Polis for investing in the state of Colorado.

Richard Seymour

***

Dear Editor,

After reading about the recent introduction of the Continental Divide Wilderness and Recreation Act, I wanted to publicly thank Representative Jared Polis for his work protecting Colorado. As an avid hiker, I deeply enjoy spending free time in the Central Mountains.

Over the past 5 years Rep. Polis has worked with a plethora of local stakeholders to ensure that this legislation truly helps to support the local community- this hard work has paid off, garnering the support of everyone from mountain bikers and conservationists to hunters and small businessmen.

If passed, the Continental Divide Wilderness and Recreation Act would provide important protections for key watersheds in the Central Mountains and safeguard our ever-valuable Colorado water for local communities and the greater Front Range. As well, the Act would protect some of Colorado’s best fishing streams and preserve valuable wildlife habitat; thank you, Representative Polis!

Eddie Welsh

Eddie Welsh is history and political science major at Colorado State University.  He has a special interest in environmental issues here in Colorado, particularly in the Central Mountains where he spend a great deal of  time.

Summit Spring: Volunteers wanted for greenhouse work, tree-planting

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It’s time to get gardening in Summit County.

Get your green thumb on!

Staff Report

FRISCO — Springtime in Summit County means it’s time to start thinking about growing everything from backyard cabbage to new trees, and even with a late season snowstorm taking aim at the high country, there’s work to be done.

The High Country Conservation Center is looking for volunteers to help cover the greenhouse at Nancy’s community garden with new plastic. The work party is scheduled for Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to  2 p.m. This job involves some lifting and holding, so please be prepared for some physical work. Continue reading

Morning Photo: Aspen magic

Peak colors

Piercing evening light helped ensure good sharpness in this iPhone pano.

Piercing evening light helped ensure good sharpness in this iPhone pano. Click on the image to view it full size.

FRISCO — It’s hard not to take photos when Colorado’s aspen groves explode into a riot of fall colors each year. The past couple of days, we’ve had quick-building thunderclouds appear late in the day. Friday evening even brought a few lightning bolts. But the clouds are not the same as the thick summer monsoon layer that dampens the light. These high-based storm clouds allow plenty of sunlight to creep in from beneath, giving some of these traditional foliage shots some extra drama. Continue reading

Morning photo: Morning, noon & night …

Friday fotos

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Summit County sunrise.

FRISCO —A lot of times, the morning photo set is compiled from different sessions on different days, but today’s all are from a single day. Before dawn on Friday morning, I could see a wave cloud setting up over the Divide, a little higher and farther west than usual, but it still looked like it could catch that morning sunrise glow, so I headed down to the Meadow Creek wetlands to take it in, and to let the dogs romp. In the middle of the day, the same peaks were bathed in bright sunshine — almost too bright for a good picture, and later in the afternoon, I set out to try and get a waterfall shot with a little more light, to try and avoid that blue glow (which can be nice, but it gets old). And the sunset? It was out of this world! Please visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County landscapes. Continue reading

Morning photo: Insta-groovy

More monsoon skies …

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Evening view of Frisco, with Buffalo Mountain as a backdrop.

FRISCO — I’m still learning about my iPhone camera, and one thing I’ve noticed is that it’s really quite good at picking up color and highlights in an otherwise shaded foreground, like the top image in this set. The difference between the light and dark areas helps give images a pleasing (to my eyes) depth, and using the built-in HDR means less post-processing, which I needed in the next image in the set to balance out a shot taken with a DSLR. Most of all, the clouds the last few days have been fabulous!

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Dillon Reservoir, still in the evening light.

Continue reading

Morning photo: Independence Day!

Red, white & blue …

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A shower of red, white and blue sparks in a classic July 4th fireworks display over the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

FRISCO —Get out and enjoy our national holiday! Continue reading

Colorado craft brewers join fracking fight

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Good beer needs clean water.

Letter to Gov. Hickenlooper calls for better balance between energy development and resource protection

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Colorado’s brewers — including two Summit County based operations — are flexing a little political muscle and calling on Gov. John Hickenlooper to strike a better balance between energy development and conservation.

Rick Tork, manager of Frisco’s Backcountry Brewery, and Pug Ryan’s Steakhouse and Brewery owner Annie Holton, signed on to represent Summit County.

In a letter to Hickenlooper, the brewers, 26 in all, cited the importance of Colorado’s image and marketability for craft brewing and the important economic impact of keeping Colorado’s skies and waters clear and clean, saying that the state’s brand and high quality of life “attracts new residents, businesses, entrepreneurs and millions of tourists annually.”

A spokesman at the governor’s office said Hickenlooper recognizes the value of the craft-brewing industry.

“The craft brewing industry is a great economic driver for Colorado and we value our relationship with brewers across the state. We will review the letter and respond appropriately,” said communications director Eric Brown. Continue reading

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