Area outdoors groups: Be smart on our public lands | AspenTimes.com
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Area outdoors groups: Be smart on our public lands

As residents of Colorado, we are fortunate to have places outside to stretch our legs and breathe deeply. We may wander gently, rejuvenating in nature’s spring rebirth; or recalibrate through heart-pumping uphill runs and rides. Many of us have access to public lands managed by local, state and federal agencies. It’s a privilege for us to be able to use and enjoy our public lands!

Colorado Wild Public Lands, a local nonprofit organization with a mission to protect the integrity, size and quality of public lands, has joined with the Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association, Bristlecone Mountain Sports, Gunnison Trails, the Independence Pass Foundation, Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association, Wilderness Workshop, Wild Earth Guardians and Women for Wildlands.

We would like to remind folks to continue being respectful while using public lands. Please be aware of the most current rules and follow directions for seasonal closures, fire restrictions and social distancing.

Remember that during the current public health crisis it’s a good time to recreate near home in locally recommended group sizes. Play it safe to minimize impacts to our emergency response systems. Set your activities and risk levels accordingly.

Our designated wilderness areas are especially sensitive to human impacts. Know that in wilderness areas motorized or mechanized uses, such as snowmobiles and chain saws, aren’t permitted. Avoid sensitive wildlife habitat as our furry friends emerge from winter conditions. As always, practice “leave no trace” principles.

At home, take the opportunity to learn more about natural and recreational values of our wild public lands. While people shelter in place to control the spread of COVID-19, the current administration continues to dismantle critical policies that ensure environmental and health protections. Watch for attempts to limit public input. In contrast, speak out soon. Tell your representatives (via websites, emails and phone) why you value accessible public lands for recreation and why it’s crucial that existing environmental protections remain in place.

Indoors, you can become an active advocate for your wild public lands. When outdoors, be an ambassador, follow the face-covering and 6-foot social distancing rules and recreate responsibly! Let’s maintain opportunities on our public lands for all!

For further information contact coloradowildpubliclands@gmail.com.


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