Letter: Practice responsible wilderness ethics

Spring is blooming in the Roaring Fork Valley, prompting many people to plan adventures into the mountains that surround us. As you head into the mountains to get their good tidings this summer, practice “Leave No Trace” wilderness ethics, and respect the regulations enacted to preserve these special places for future generations. Popular destinations in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness are suffering from the impact of a significant increase in visitation. Help reduce the problem and have a better experience by visiting alternate areas or going midweek. Important updates for 2016 include:

• Approved bear-resistant containers are required to store all food, trash and scented items for overnight visitors.

• Campfires are now prohibited above 10,800 feet.

• Remember that no dogs are allowed in the Conundrum Valley south of the Silver Dollar Ponds (second creek crossing).

Plan your trip in advance by calling the Aspen-Sopris Ranger Station at 970-963-2266 or visiting for the most up-to-date, official information on trail conditions and local regulations.

Happy trails!

Andrew Larson

Lead wilderness ranger, Aspen-Sopris Ranger District, White River National Forest