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Old 11-22-2009, 11:35 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 147782
Join Date: May 2007
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: CO
2012 Tundra
2007 KTM 525 2008 KLR 650

Default Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal

I've posted this in AWDPirates but thought I post here to catch non-pirate Colorado members. Hidden Gems is a campaign to designate more Wilderness areas in Colorado thereby closing them to Logging, mining and road building and in turn restricting them from mountainbiking, snowmobiling and OHV use.
I am an avid mountainbiker, snowmobilier and hiker and am concerned about the affects this legislation will have on future generations and there ability to enjoy this land as I do.
If you live in CO please learn about this proposal and voice your opinion to your elected officials and Parks employees.
If you feel as I do, and oppose this initiative please feel free to copy and email the form letter below to your elected officials.

Facebook Group Protect, Not Exclude - Questions About The Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaignhttp://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=141446633656


Dear _________

I am an environmentalist writing with concern over the Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal. I believe that wild lands need protection; however, I cannot endorse this proposal as the correct answer for the Whiter River National Forest. Several reasons prohibit me from supporting the Gems campaign and several questions still need to be addressed by its proponents.

1. Locally there are legitimate concerns about wildfire mitigation in the wake of pine beetle devastation. A Widlerness designation would preclude immediate and decisive action by local land managers to fight an outbreak of fire. Look to the recent fire in the Eagle’s Nest Wilderness as a chilling example of non-action.

2. Watershed integrity and subsequent proactive solutions are directly related to the wildfire mitigation issue and of perhaps even greater concern.

3. We’ve also yet to see results of the economic impact study done on this proposed legislation, at the county and state level – simply put, what happens when all user groups other than hikers are no longer welcome in vast tracts of our public lands?

4. Has a public comment session taken place?

5. It's unclear what biological or aesthetic criteria this group used to select the Gems parcels or if wildlife experts & biologists whose credentials were acknowledged by the USFS were involved. Why have many user groups been left out of the public comment process?

The USFS's Travel Management Plan should set the example. Nearly a decade of scientific study & collaborative effort with many user groups cannot be ignored.

Why are we jumping right to Wilderness and not looking at any other options for land management and protection? Using companion designations, adequate protections can be written to exclude extraction industries, yet still not interfere with localized forest health issues or historic recreational use. National Recreation Areas, National Conservation Areas and National Protection Areas can provide an intelligent alternative to Wilderness. Similar to Wilderness, these alternatives require an act of Congress to reverse. These options MUST be objectively explored because the issues facing us in 2009 are far more complex than those of 1964 when the Wilderness Act was written into law. Simply put, a more complex and nuanced solution addressing public lands protection is in order.

Protection is the goal. Wilderness designation is one of many tools we have to reach this goal. Let's not confuse the tool for the goal.

Thank You

2nd Congressional District (Jared Polis – D) http://polis.house.gov/Contact/ContactForm.htm
- Grand: http://co.grand.co.us/online_services/commissioners.html
- Boulder:
- Eagle:
- Summit:
- Gilpin: [email protected]

3rd Congressional District (John Salazar – D) http://www.house.gov/htbin/formproc_...contact2.shtml
- Garfield: http://www.garfield-county.com/Index.aspx?page=563
- Gunnison:
http://www.gunnisoncounty.org/commissioners.html (at the bottom)
- Pitkin:


5th Congressional District (Doug Lamborn – R) http://lamborn.house.gov/index.cfm?s...ctiontree=3,64
- El Paso:
- Teller:
- Arapahoe:
- Fremont:
- Douglas:
- Park:
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Old 11-22-2009, 01:11 PM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 158043
Join Date: Aug 2007
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: SLC
2013 Wrx Hatch


So long as they don't ban peeing in the woods I'm fine with it.
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Old 11-22-2009, 01:16 PM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 179661
Join Date: May 2008
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Utah
A Subaru



they are doing this same thing in utah right now, trying to restrict millions of square miles from atvs and snowmobiles and camping
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Old 11-22-2009, 01:56 PM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 147782
Join Date: May 2007
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: CO
2012 Tundra
2007 KTM 525 2008 KLR 650


Yea, kinda sux for me one of the areas is right in my neighborhood. On the plus side, this issue has motivated me to get involved in local issues. I figured this topic would get a mixed response on car boards.
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