A fast one by Hidden Gems | AspenTimes.com

A fast one by Hidden Gems

Dear Editor:

Thank you, Aspen Times, for your recent articles covering and exposing the Wilderness Workshop and Hidden Gems proposal to the public. I am a 34-year-old native of the valley, born and raised here, and I have watched my access to public lands do nothing but shrink.

I think wilderness designation is an extreme act, and there are plenty of other ways and means to achieve protection that would still allow recreation. I attended the Carbondale parks and rec meeting last Wednesday, where more than 200 people from several different user groups, including multigeneration homesteaders and ranchers, showed up to basically protest the workshop’s proposal.

I cannot speak for everyone there, but most do not want any new wilderness designation whatsoever. They all believe as I do: That nothing should change, that there is a great balance of roadless/hiking, mountain biking, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycling, four-wheeling, etc. They are sick and tired of losing access to their “public lands” and do not appreciate some extremist group trying to pull a fast one on them behind their backs.

Most of the people at this meeting had just found out about this proposal in the last month. I urge all of the public to get informed and involved; please write your congressman, commissioner, mayor, Town Council, etc., as we all have a stake in this debate – before it’s too late!

Also, none of the “motor heads,” as Pitkin County Commissioner Jack Hatfield refers to us, support oil and gas development!

Joe Hultquist


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