Posted on April 27, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
The Hermosa Creek drainage near Durango is geting some bipartisan love in Congress.
Local stakeholder consensus may provide momentum for managment plan that includes modest amount of new wilderness
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Colorado lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are reaching across party lines to try and protect more than 100,000 acres of the Hermosa Creek watershed north of Durango.
U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Rep. Scott Tipton(R-CO) are introducing companion bills that would establish management for the Hermosa Creek Watershed based on recommendations from the Hermosa Creek River Protection Workgroup. The panel includes local water officials, conservationists, sportsmen, mountain bikers, off-road-vehicle users, outfitters, property owners, grazing permit holders and other interested citizens.
“We are lucky in Colorado to be able to enjoy many of the country’s most beautiful landscapes in our backyards. The Hermosa Creek Watershed represents some of the best Colorado has to offer,” Bennet said. “This bill will protect this land for our outdoor recreation economy and for future generations of Coloradans and Americans to enjoy. It is the result of a local effort that took into account the varied interests of the community, and that cooperation helped us put together a strong bill with the community’s input.” (more…)
Filed under: Environment, public lands | Tagged: Animas Mountain, Colorado, Durango, Hermosa Creek, La Plata County Colorado, Michael Bennet, San Juan National Forest, wilderness | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 13, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Cherished stretch of river lands up for better protection
If you have questions about the Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness proposal, head over the Nathrop Saturday, April 13, when Sen. Mark Udall will host a listening session to get community feedback that will help fine-tune the plan.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Residents of central Colorado will get a chance to offer some input on a proposed new wilderness area along the Arkansas River this weekend (Saturday, April 13), when Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) holds a listening session in Nathrop. The session is set for 10 a.m. at Noah’s Ark Whitewater Rafting Company, 23910 U.S. Highway 285 in Nathrop.
Udall’s draft proposal for the Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Area is based on more than a year’s worth of community input. It would cover 22,000 acres between Salida and Buena Vista on the Arkansas River, including 10,500 acres of new wilderness. (more…)
Filed under: BLM, Colorado, Environment, rivers | Tagged: Arkansas River, Browns Canyon, Browns Canyon wilderness plan, Bureau of Land management, Colorado, Mark Udall, United States Forest Service, wilderness | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 22, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Udall’s wilderness plan good for wildlife, good for people
Wilderness helps protect water quality in the high country.
By Dr. Tom Steinberg
This year as we celebrate Vail’s 50th anniversary, I reflect on the people and attitudes that made this place blossom from a sheep pasture into a world class resort. Vail pioneers came here for the place – the beautiful mountains and great skiing. We came for a lifestyle of being in nature and appreciating it for all its challenges and wildness. Like anyone who succeeds in life, we had grit, determination, creativity and resilience.
Within a decade of Vail’s birth we began working hard to ensure our future by seeking wilderness protection for the stunningly beautiful lands around us. We held “wilderness walks” through town, wrote thousands of letters to decision makers, hiked the Gore and Holy Cross areas with community leaders and talked with anyone who cared to hear about protecting the resources that we saw as integral to the long-term future of the resort and the community.
We understood that the natural capital of this region is finite. We knew that in order to maintain the goose that was laying our golden eggs and create a sustainable tourism economy for our future, we needed to make regular deposits into the natural capital fund, by protecting streams, wildlife habitat, migration corridors, and forests from the biggest threat they faced, which was us – the growing human population. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, Colorado, Environment, forests, recreation, White River National Forest | Tagged: Holy Cross Wilderness, Mark Udall, Tom Steinberg, Vail, wilderness | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 23, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Eagles Nest Wilderness, Gore Range, Colorado. PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.
Sen. Mark Udall still seeking community consensus for new national forest designations in White River NF
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A proposal to add more wilderness and other specially designated conservation and recreation areas in the White River National Forest got support from a key economic stakeholder last week, as Vail Resorts announced support for what’s now being called the central mountains wilderness proposal.
“The special nature of the economies in Colorado’s resort communities relies on the successful balance of offering thoughtfully developed recreation opportunities on our public lands with the preservation of pristine wilderness areas,” said Beth Ganz, Vail Resorts vice president of public affairs and sustainability. “Vail Resorts is proud to support this effort to strike that important balance. We believe this proposal and the protections it will provide are critical for Colorado.”
“The areas under consideration in Eagle and Summit counties have been identified as important ecological areas that provide wildlife habitat and serve as our community watersheds, including Hoosier Ridge near Breckenridge and West Lake Creek outside of Edwards. These areas will benefit greatly from the contemplated higher levels of protection and will contribute to the quality of life in our iconic mountain communities,” Vail Resorts announced on its web site. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, forests, Summit County Colorado, US Forest Service, White River National Forest | Tagged: Central Mountains Outdoor Heritage Act, Colorado, Mark Udall, national forests, Vail Resorts, wilderness | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 14, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Economic benefits of quiet recreation are profound
Wilderness is good for business.
By Josh Lautenberg
Senator Mark Udall is right on target when he talks about the value of protected wilderness for our local economy.
Here in Vail, and in places like Aspen, Snowmass Village, Eagle and Breckenridge, our economy has prospered over the years in large part because of its location in the heart of the Colorado Rockies.
So how does wilderness support the economy?
Because of their famous majesty and beauty, the Rocky Mountains attract visitors from around the world. Think of all the people who can’t wait to leave behind the noise and pollution of the city to come here for their week or two in the mountains. To be able to smell the fresh air and stare at the perfect Colorado blue skies. (more…)
Filed under: business, Colorado, economy, Environment, Hidden Gems wilderness, public lands, real estate, US Forest Service | Tagged: Aspen Colorado, Colorado, Colorado Breckenridge, Mark Udall, Vail Colorado, wilderness | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 7, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Eagles Nest Wilderness.
I’m writing to Thank Senator Mark Udall for looking into new Wilderness designations in Central Colorado and Browns Canyon. It’s no surprise that Mr. Udall chose these area’s to study for possible protection, because support for wilderness protection runs deep.
As the co-founder of Fishpond USA my business is directly impacted by how we treat our public lands and rivers. The gear we sell is used on our rivers, and healthy rivers are dependent on healthy watersheds. Wilderness protects the headwaters and wetlands that comprise these vital watersheds. Wilderness designation is the best way to preserve the “natural capital” that makes Colorado great.
Fishpond, inc. both employs people here in Dillon, and has relationships with suppliers and retailers in other markets. The healthy environment that allows me to do business in Dillon has a ripple effect on other economies in the Colorado Rockies and beyond. Local businesses like mine benefit from our surrounding natural landscapes. It is important we invest in our “natural capital” by protecting portions of the landscape. I applaud Mr. Udall for beginning a process to designate new wilderness and urge him to introduce legislation as soon as possible.
John Land Le Coq
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, public lands, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Mark Udall, public lands, Summit County Colorado, wilderness | 3 Comments »
Posted on March 2, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
The wild side of Summit County
This Meadow Creek, a wild, free-flowing stream that starts in the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area and ends up flowing right past our house before its confluence with Dillon Reservoir, where it's wild no more.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Today’s photo essay is compiled for the #FriFotos Twitter chat, this week with the theme of “wild.” I thought I’d share a few pictures of the wild side of Summit County, where so many of the things I value are wild in nature, including the clean mountain streams, tasty wild mushrooms and berries and, of course, the wild and untamed landscape itself. Check out the chat on Twitter by following the #FriFotos hashtag and join in by tagging your own pictures and posting them all day long.
The snow in the mountains of Colorado can be pretty wild, as shown by this huge avalanche that ripped down Uneva Bowl, a popular backcountry ski destination near Vail Pass.
Filed under: Environment, Morning photo, mushrooms and fungi, photography, plants and flowers, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: photography, Summit County Colorado, wild mushrooms, wilderness | 2 Comments »
Posted on November 11, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar highlights BLM lands suitable for wilderness designation based on local support
Several BLM tracts in Colorado are identified as ripe for bipartisan action on wilderness based on local input and support for such designations.
The McKenna Peak wilderness study area in the San Juans. PHOTO COURTESY BLM.
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Wilderness legislation has been tied up Washington’s political gridlock the past year, especially with conservative House Republicans pursuing an anti-public lands agenda. But in a report issued this week, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called for action on 18 BLM parcels under consideration for wilderness or national conservation status.
Four tracts in Colorado are identified in the new report, including the Bull Gulch and Castle Peak wilderness study areas, both part of the Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act (H.R.1701) proposed by Rep. Jared Polis. The other Colorado parcels are the Browns Canyon wilderness study area on the Arkansas River and the McKenna Peak wilderness study area in the San Juans.
Salazar urged bipartisan support for wilderness designations, saying that federal land managers need to balance resource extraction with preservation. (more…)
Filed under: BLM, Colorado, Environment, public lands, Summit County news | Tagged: BLM, Congress, Environment, Ken Salazar, public lands, Summit County News, wilderness | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 7, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
High in the Sawatch Range with Kim Fenske
A ptarmigan in winter plumage along the Mt. Massive trail.
Story and photos by Kim Fenske
Mount Massive dominates the skyline west of Leadville in Lake County, Colorado. The 14-mile hike up Mount Massive is considered a fairly easy trail during the short summer season, with a well-traveled path to the ridgeline. The standard route begins at a trailhead near Halfmoon Campground in the valley between Mount Massive, 14,421 feet, and the highest peak in Colorado, 14,433-foot Mount Elbert.
The winter trek can be a couple of miles longer when access may be restricted on the Forest Service road leading to the base of the mountain. When the road to Halfmoon Campground is completely blocked by snow, the National Fish Hatchery at the northern base of Mount Massive provides a longer access route along the Colorado Trail. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, hiking, recreation | Tagged: Colorado, Kim Fenske, Mount Elbert, Mount Massive, Sawatch Range, wilderness | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 28, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Measure touted as boost to Colorado’s recreation economy
A bill pending in the U.S. Senate would add thousands of acres of new wilderness in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Two fourteeners and a productive hunting area in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado are included in a wilderness bill re-introduced this week by Sen. Mark Udall.
The measure would also withdraw more than 6,000 acres in Naturita Canyon from mineral entry. Another 22,000 acres around Sheep Mountain would be designated as a special management area, where existing uses like heliskiing could continue, but new roads or other developments would be barred.
The San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act would designate 33,000 acres as wilderness — mostly as expansions of the existing Lizard Head and Mount Sneffels wilderness areas — and establish a new area called McKenna Peak, which presides over imposing sandstone cliffs rising 2,000 feet above the plain. Maps of all the areas and more details are online at Udall’s Senate website. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, economy, Environment, public lands, recreation, US Forest Service | Tagged: Colorado, Mark Udall, Mt. Sneffels wilderness, new Colorado wilderness, San Juan Mountains wilderness Act, Sheep Mountain Colorado, wilderness | Leave a Comment »