Mapping out the truth
October 8, 2009
There is a lot of speculation concerning the Hidden Gems expansion of Wilderness areas. We are afraid of losing precious trails for our bikes, sleds or dirt machines. Our time in the wild country is our most precious experience. This is our mountain homeland and we want to keep it.
I look in our valleys and see the change from my 50 years here. I am stunned, yet I know that only a hundred years ago these were all wilderness lands visited by the Utes most summers and left to creation during the winters. I see the last 10 years of growth, compounded by what is coming before commissioners now, and then I imagine that logarithmic leap in density for the next 100 years! Take a drive up Piceance Creek out of Rifle, and look into our future!
We owe it to ourselves and children to actually look at the maps and work with Hidden Gems to secure the pristine areas we love. Chances are our runs are not affected by any Wilderness designations being proposed. Chances are better that the area has already been closed by the Forest Service or BLM. The ones I have walked are minuscule. It barely takes an hour to cross into Wilderness or another road and pipeline.
Let’s know for sure before we halt this preservation effort because of misconceptions! The maps are naturally complex; please study them. Ask for a presentation to your group. Help the Gems help us.
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