View Full Version : hidden gems wilderness act!!! need to act now !!!

08-24-2009, 06:01 PM
Good Evening,

I am writing you all tonight to ask for your help in preserving our club, our sport and most importantly our way of life. This is way bigger than just a "snowmobile thing". Last night Kristy and I along with other snowmobilers from the valley attended a meeting held at Fire house in the town of Thomasville above the town of Basalt. The meeting was held by the Frying Pan Caucus and was a presentation presented by the Wilderness Work Shop of Carbondale. The presentation was the Hidden Gems Wilderness proposal act. What was presented to us the scariest thing I have ever seen in the form of a threat against our sport and motorized recreation as a whole. The proposal is to make over 600,000 acres of the White River and Gunnison National Forests into wilderness. What makes this scary is that they are proposing to do this in the next few months and have the ability to do so. While we have all heard this song and dance before what made this proposal different was the following.

The Wilderness Work Shop has done the following things

1. They have figured out a way to end run the Forest service and the normal process of proposing wilderness
2. They have found a congress man ( Jared Polis 2nd district US house of Rep) to sponsor the Bill as soon as they have it done
3. They intend to get the bill shoved thru congress this year while they have a favorable congress.
4. They have very deep pockets but they want to avoid having to deal with the motor sports community at all costs

What this means to you.

What this means to you is that if they continue as they have planned they will have 600,000 acres new wilderness in White River and Gunnison Nationals forests by this time next year.

How this effects you?

The main reason this effects you is that it would make over 75% of Four mile, Clear Fork, Spruce Mnt, Basalt Mnt, Red Tables, Hagerman pass, Huntsman's ridge and Thompson Creek area all wilderness, off road to ALL MECHANIZED use. If you look at their maps and overlay it with our own trails and play areas we would loose all our best areas and trails. There is no comprise with these folks, snowmobiles can in no way or shape fit into their plans, they finally admitted this to use on Monday night. The only way their proposal works if we are gone.

If they accomplish their next step will be to next year to take the WHOLE FLATTOPS north of I-70. Basically if 4-Mile falls the Flattops are next. If you use anything from a Chainsaw, Mnt Bike, ATV, Snowmobile, 4Wheel Drive to a Motorcycle this will defiantly effect you!

This is a very complicated issue and we have arrived into this battle at a late hour. I do however feel like we have a very real chance to win this thing or at least keep these people somewhat honest. What I am asking for from you folks is a few things
1. Ideas on how to get a hold of other folks that don't belong to clubs that stand to loose from this proposal.
2. Different ways and means to bring attention to this huge land grab
3. Ways to get more information to the public that this is going on
4. The final thing for now is to be ready to respond when the time comes with letters and calls to county commissioners, senators, house reps, ect.

I will be the first to admit I hate writing letters, much less for things like this. Sadly this is what it's going to take to win this deal. We as a group have to reach our elected officials and tell them we do not want this. What myself and others in the next few days are going to do is prepare a simple letter with maps and info that we can email to friends and family and give to the local power sport dealers to mail out to their customers. What this letter will contain is a short summation of what is happening and what we can do about it and who to contact and how. I want to make this as easy as possible for people to be able to get their opinions to our elected officials.

Please pass this on to all you know that have a something to loose from this fight. The website with all the info and maps is the following http://www.whiteriverwild.org/p-roaring-fork-14.html click on the areas for the maps and details. It is flat scary.

Hopefully we will have something ready in a few days. Believe me, I know we all work regular jobs, have family's, ect and I can think of million things I would rather be doing but this is a going to be fight for what we all love an cherish and it will take everyone's help to win this battle.

If anyone has ANY ideas or would like to help please let me know.

Sean Martin
Mount Sopris Rec Riders