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Learning about Wilderness

Dear Editor:

The White River Forest Alliance would like to extend a thank you to everyone who attended the public dialog and forum held on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at Dos Gringos in Carbondale. Thanks also to Nelson Oldham and the staff of Dos Gringos who graciously kept the place open late for this forum.

More than 100 wilderness advocates were present, representing a wide spectrum of user groups, including ranchers, the disabled community, mountain bikers, dirt-bike riders, hikers, snowmobilers, 4-wheel drivers, and cross- and backcountry skiers. The forum primarily focused on what is the true definition of Wilderness, what it means to us as a community and how we can better work together and develop protocols to preserve our wild lands while still being able to continue to utilize them.

Scott Fitzwilliams of the White River National Forest and Perry Will from the Colorado Department of Wildlife were on hand to answer questions pertaining to their specific organizations. Fitzwilliams spoke directly of how we can all help augment the staff of the White River National Forest in maintaining our public lands and educated us as to the process of the WRNF Travel Management Plan. Will explained in detail the effect of what might happen to funding for and care of wildlife in the event of blanket closures of wilderness lands to Wilderness designation.

The White River Forest Alliance is a purely volunteer, Wilderness advocacy group representing the multiuser in working for protection of our public wild lands. The goal of the White River Forest Alliance is to create awareness through education that alternative ways of protecting public lands exist while still maintaining access and encouraging individuals to take personal responsibility in gaining a better understanding of and collaboration between user groups. We encourage the community to become educated as to what Wilderness means and the processes of what constitutes Wilderness designation.

White River Forest Alliance


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