Posted on November 14, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Will Colorado get a new wilderness area this year?
Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act passed by Senate committee
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — In what may become a Christmas miracle, Congress is poised to actually pass a land protection measure before the end of the session. Lawmakers this week said they reached a compromise on a bill to protect the Hermosa Creek watershed near Durango.
As written, the legislation would create a 70,000-acre special management area and a 37,000-acre Wilderness area in the San Juan National Forest. The compromise includes opening a huge section of alpine backcountry around Molas Divide to snowmobiling. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, Colorado, politics, public lands, wilderness | Tagged: Colorado, Environment, Hermosa Creek, public lands, wilderness | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 30, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
More wilderness in Southern California?
Roadless lands to be evaluated for wilderness qualities
FRISCO —In a rare administrative reversal, regional U.S. Forest Service officials told the Los Padres National Forest to reconsider its plans for seven roadless areas encompassing more than 220,000 acres in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Kern counties.
The decision directs forest planners to reevaluate the wilderness characteristics of seven areas and clarify how biologists will monitor and protect imperiled wildlife. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, forests, public lands, US Forest Service, wilderness | Tagged: Los Padres National Forest, national forests, public lands, roadless areas, wilderness | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 27, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Federal lands in the U.S. Courtesy Univ. of Montana.
New website offers glimpse of ongoing efforts to ‘de-federalize’ the West
FRISCO — On and off efforts to force the transfer of federally managed public western lands to individual states have grown beyond campaign rhetoric.
These days, there’s a semi-organized effort on the part of lawmakers in several western states to try and take over millions of acres of forests and rangelands. The history of the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion, with roots in the Reagan era, is outlined in detail on this University of Colorado website. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, national parks, public lands, US Forest Service, wilderness | Tagged: crazy ideas, public lands, sagebrush rebellion, states rights, West | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 27, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Wildflowers in the Eagles Nest Wilderness area in Summit County, Colorado. bberwyn photo.
Finalizing inventories, planning for climate resilience are high on the agenda
FRISCO — Federal land managers say they want complete wilderness area inventories develop climate-change vulnerability and adaptation studies across 110 million acres of wilderness lands in the U.S. in the next five years as part of an interagency wilderness vision for 2020.
The plan is aimed at ensuring continued preservation of the lands that make up the National Wilderness Preservation System across the jurisdictions of various agencies that manage wilderness lands, including the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, Environment, national parks, public lands, wilderness | Tagged: BLM, Environment, Forest Service, public lands, wilderness | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 28, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Sunrise in the Eagles Nest Wilderness, Gore Range, Colorado.
Forest Service chief clarifies proposed directive on commercial permits
By Summit Voice
FRISCO —After a few days of scathing news reports and commentaries, the U.S. Forest Service made it clear that a new policy on wilderness photography and filming won’t apply to journalists or visitors taking snapshots for their own use.
The update came from Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, who said in a prepared statement that the agency is committed to the First Amendment.
“To be clear, provisions in the draft directive do not apply to news gathering or activities,” Tidwell said, going on to describe the agency’s effort standardize permitting and to ensure that the public gets fair value for commercial activities in wilderness areas. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, public lands, wilderness | Tagged: forest service permits, Tom Tidwell, U.S. Forest Service, wilderness, wilderness photography, wilderness photography permits | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 3, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Adventurer Kim Fenske is back on the road, exploring the San Juans
Sunset from Grand Mesa.
Story and photos by Kim Fenske
Among the rugged southwestern mountains of Colorado lie three Fourteeners: El Diente, 14,159 feet; Mount Wilson, 14,246 feet; and Wilson Peak, 14,017 feet. Since I had never visited this section of Colorado, I prepared a trip into the area with a plan to hike to Navajo Lake at the base of these three magnificent peaks. The three peaks are situated near Telluride in the Lizard Head Wilderness Area of the San Juan Mountains.
The drive from Copper Mountain is about three hundred miles, so I decided to break up the trip by heading west toward Grand Junction, then turning south to camp on the Grand Mesa. Several campgrounds lie among the small lakes trapped in the highlands of Grand Mesa National Forest on State Highway 65 north of Delta. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, hiking, public lands, recreation, wilderness | Tagged: Colorado, hiking, Kim Fenske, Lizard Head Wilderness, San Juans | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 11, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Graph courtesy Center for Western Priorities.
New report highlights need for more emphasis on land protection
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Public lands in the West are being leased for oil and gas production at a steady rate, but setting aside lands for non-industrial purposes has not kept pace — and it’s not just Republicans who are to blame.
The last time Congress protected public lands was under an omnibus public lands bill that set aside more than 2 million acres of wilderness and established three new national park units, a new national monument, three new national conservation areas, and more than 1,000 miles of national wild and scenic rivers.
Since then, both parties have emphasized fossil fuel production for the past decade, according to a coalition of advocacy and conservation groups who released a new report last week outlining the need to protect at least as many areas as are being leased for drilling and fracking. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, energy, Environment, forests, gas drilling, national parks, oil drilling, public lands, wilderness | Tagged: conservation, energy, Environment, fracking, public lands | Leave a comment »