Wilderness act good for all
Last week, the Aspen Times announced that Senator Bennett and Representative Polis introduced the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness and Camp Hale Legacy Act, offering some legislation that our fractured Congress can come together to act on. This act adds 98,621 acres of wilderness, special management and recreation areas to Summit and Eagle counties, creating two much needed Wildlife Conservation areas, and as well as two new Recreation Management areas. The last two are a novel setup to include the use of mechanized transport (mountain bikes). It will codify protections for the Camp Hale historic area, a bipartisan goal that has existed for decades.
This legislation is supported by a wide coalition of the local governments and boots- (or tires) on-the-ground organizations. The surrounding communities economies depend on a wide variety of recreation opportunities these lands provide, and this legislation protects those opportunities in perpetuity. Hikers, skiers, hunters, anglers, mountain bikers, tourists, and bird and game watchers all benefit. The local communities will enjoy a major sustainable economic resource.
As a hunter and angler, I endorse this legislation and encourage our elected officials to pass this act. It will benefit not only us human recreationists, but also big game and other wildlife will gain more protected areas in which to live and rear their young, free from intrusion.