Compton named director for Aspen Wilderness Workshop |

Compton named director for Aspen Wilderness Workshop

Aspen Times Staff Report

Beverly Compton has been selected as executive director of the Aspen Wilderness Workshop, a locally based nonprofit environmental group.

Compton has been a member of the organization’s board of directors since last year. She has spent the past 10 years working on local environmental issues with the Mount Sopris Group of the Sierra Club and more recently on the staff of LightHawk.

The Aspen Wilderness Workshop’s paid staff also includes Sloan Shoemaker, the organization’s director of conservation, and Compton’s husband, Richard Compton, who runs the Workshop’s GIS mapping lab. Compton’s position is a new one with the organization.

“I’m thrilled to finally work full-time on local public land issues and the daily work of running this great organization,” Compton said. She said nothing can replace the work of local people taking care of their local landscape.

Compton said she hopes to model the organization’s future after the workshop’s heritage of preservation work. The group will lead efforts to preserve area wilderness tracts included in a wilderness bill submitted by Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver.

The Aspen Wilderness Workshop has been operating under that name since 1967, though before that, several present members were involved in the political effort to push the 1964 Wilderness Act through Congress and map the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area created with passage of the act.

A press release indicates the group’s mission is to inspire the community to embrace and manifest an ecological vision that strives to compare to the greatness of the local landscape, and to protect and restore the ecological health and integrity of the whole community of life through research, education, advocacy and activism.

The group believes that the environment around wilderness areas must be protected, because wilderness is not isolated. Air and water, as well as wildlife and people pass between wilderness areas and their surroundings, the release notes.