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mtncrsr
05-12-2010, 09:08 AM
Has anyone seen the new "Hidden Gems" proposal that is being discussed right now by Jared Polis and others in congress? It appears from the maps, to close a huge amount of road access to land in Colorado by designating it as wilderness. Polis has a survey on his website where you can express your opinions on this matter. I encourage you to take the survey and helps stop another huge take over of our lands by the government.

DaveInDenver
05-12-2010, 09:16 AM
There is a Facebook group regarding this and it's been on the IMBA radar for a while now. This is a threat not only to motorized travel but bikes, too.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/group.php?gid=141446633656

Environmentalists and conservationists seeking a more thoughtful solution for protecting our wild lands than applying the Wilderness designation which excludes all but hikers.

It's not that Hidden Gems folks have been completely dishonest. Their intentions are honorable and they truly believe in the truth of their mission. More accurately, their website, propaganda and public relations campaign have presented a very one-sided view of the facts, yet they've presented themselves as the authorities on Wilderness. To any reasonable person that represents conflict of interest. But in the age we live in it really is about spin - and they've been spinning for a couple of years.

Objectively, they lack accountability, process and oversight. They're passionate advocates and supporters of Wilderness, but simply not experts in land management, economic impact or in any of the other areas listed below.

Protection of many of these parcels is a good thing. Some of them should even be designated as Wilderness. Our contention is that there are better, more targeted ways to accomplish that - with the added bonus of bringing the full-throated support of the entire mountain bike community to their cause.

The introduction and subsequent passing of the Hidden Gems agenda would preclude any use other than hiking for time immemorial. Many of these parcels DO NOT QUALIFY as wilderness, yet the Gems folks have asked for EVERYTHING and have lined up congressional support on the basis of being in the door first and most often.

Ask about watershed protection.
Ask about wildfire mitigation in the face of the pine beetle devastation.
Ask about walking your dog off-leash in Wilderness.
Ask about riding your mountain bike.
Ask about the policy of making an end-run around the accepted practice of allowing the USFS to determine Wilderness designations through the Travel Management process.

Most importantly, ask that your elected officials demand ALTERNATIVE DESIGNATIONS (Nat'l Protection Area, Nat'l Conservation Area, Nat'l Recreation Area) in lieu of Wilderness. They CAN be written and codified by Congress to afford the same protections as wilderness, while still allowing for local, on-the-ground decision making and management by the people best suited to make those calls - the people who live there.

Ask the hard questions. Ask how this group came to designate significant portions of YOUR trail network as worthy only to be traversed by them and not you.

nuclearlemon
05-12-2010, 10:05 AM
Has anyone seen the new "Hidden Gems" proposal that is being discussed right now by Jared Polis and others in congress? It appears from the maps, to close a huge amount of road access to land in Colorado by designating it as wilderness. Polis has a survey on his website where you can express your opinions on this matter. I encourage you to take the survey and helps stop another huge take over of our lands by the government.

do you have a link to the poll, or what page is it on...i don't see it.

Hulk
05-12-2010, 10:26 AM
Polis Releases Public Review Schedule for Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal


Washington, Apr 21 -

Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) released today an initial schedule of events for public review of the Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal. The “Hidden Gems Coalition” recently submitted to the Congressman a formal proposal for new designated wilderness areas in the White River National Forest within Summit and Eagle Counties. Polis is asking all stakeholders for their input and full participation in an extensive public review process.



“After receiving the coalition’s proposal, we now need the help of every possible stakeholder to put it under the microscope and make sure it checks out, before my office decides if or how we go forward,” Polis said. “Our goal is to examine this proposal area by area, trail by trail, and gather as much public input as possible. At the end of the day, if there are areas that are appropriate for wilderness designation, we will seriously consider thoughtful legislation for those specific areas, but areas that aren’t right for wilderness or our local communities will not be included.”



Beginning April 22 through May 25, Congressman Polis’ Frisco office will hold open office hours (see schedule below) to allow area residents and affected stakeholders to share their input, dissect proposal maps, and address questions regarding the Hidden Gems Wilderness proposal with Congressman Polis district representative for the area, Nissa Erickson.



Information on additional Hidden Gems meetings and community forums to be held when Polis is back in Colorado for Congress’ Memorial Day recess (May 31 – June 4) will be released soon.



Residents are also urged to email any detailed comments or known use conflicts on the Hidden Gems proposal to feedback.polis@mail.house.gov. Interested individuals can also contact Nissa Erickson at 970.668.3240 to schedule a separate meeting.



What: Office Hours for Public Review of Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal with Congressional Staff



Where: Congressman Polis’ Frisco office - in the main foyer of the building

101 W. Main Street

Frisco, CO 80443

970.668.3240



When:

Thursday, April 22: 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Thursday, April 29: 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Wednesday, May 5: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Wednesday, May 12: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Tuesday, May 18: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Tuesday, May 25: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm



Information on Polis’ upcoming events is posted on his Congressional website at www.polis.house.gov/calendar (http://polis.house.gov/News/www.polis.house.gov/calendar).

simps80
05-12-2010, 10:28 AM
do you have a link to the poll, or what page is it on...i don't see it.

I think its more of the survey below:
but I could be wrong.

http://www.polis.house.gov/Forms/Form/?ID=745

here's a schedule for 'public review' of the proposal:
http://polis.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=182065

Hulk
05-12-2010, 10:29 AM
Here's my letter. There are better letters on the Facebook group that Dave mentioned, but this one is written by me and is not a form letter.

To: feedback.polis@mail.house.gov

Subject: Hidden Gems feedback

Dear Congressman Polis:

I can't claim to be an expert on the Hidden Gems proposal, but what I hear scares me. Protecting wilderness areas is a worthy goal, but this proposal seems to be a land grab by radical environmentalists who hate the use of public lands for any purpose of which they don't approve.

I belong to a local Colorado 4WD club, Rising Sun 4WD Club of Colorado, and our 90+ members practice the responsible trail habits -- we always stay on the trail. We have partnered with the local BLM and Forest Service to fund and perform maintenance on trails and restore areas that have been abused. These trails are used by many people of Colorado in a myriad of ways: 4WD vehicles, motorcycles, ATVs, mountain bikes, hikers and horseback riders. To simply deny access to entire areas from everyone but hikers leaves out a ton of people, recreation and local commerce.

Are there other options for land management and protection rather than a Wilderness designation? If so, these should be explored first and given preference over the exclusionary nature of a Wilderness designation.

Thank you,
Matt Farr
(address removed)

simps80
05-12-2010, 10:48 AM
according to the proposal I am reading here:

http://polis.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Bull_Gulch.pdf

unless I'm reading it wrong (or its not a valid representation ), or a complete representation...

the proposed wildnerness area has no actual motorized trails within the proposed area.


In fact it appears possible that quite intentionally they 'bordered' the proposed area to exclude designating existing trails within the protected area.

.....I guess that still leaves MtnBikes out of the picture in that new area ....

subzali
05-26-2010, 06:21 PM
Email from the BRC: basically there is a public comment period coming up, and it sounds like a National Recreation Area or current Forest Service management policy would better suit these areas than a Wilderness designation:

BRC ACTION ALERT
MEETINGS ANNOUNCED FOR HIDDEN GEMS WILDERNESS BILL
PLEASE ATTEND OR CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMAN

Dear BRC member and supporter in Colorado,

After over a year of wrangling between local governments, mountain bikers, cattlemen, snowmobilers and off-highway vehicle enthusiasts, the Hidden Gems Campaign has formally submitted a proposal to U.S. Representative Jared Polis.

Its worthwhile to note that the original Hidden Gems proposal was pegged at just under 600,000 acres, but the proposal submitted to Rep. Polis stands at 243,000 acres of public lands managed by the White River National Forest and Bureau of Land Management.

Kudos to local snowmobile clubs as well as the White River Forest Alliance who have worked diligently to defend recreational access to these prized Colorado backcountry destinations.

While the proposal has been drastically reduced, it is still fatally flawed. One key flaw is that few of the acres actually meet the definition of Wilderness as outlined in the 1964 Act. These acres are best managed by the existing Forest Plan or perhaps a more recreation friendly designation such as a National Recreation Area.

Other key flaws are the closure of some prized snowmobile and OHV areas including Elliot Ridge, Hoosier Ridge, Porcupine and Ten Mile in Summit County. Eagle County could also lose Lower Pinney, Freeman Creek, Basalt Mtn, Spradle Creek and No Name.

BRC encourages everyone who can to attend at least one of the open houses. We've included an Action Alert below with the dates, times and locations as well as some additional information.

As always, thanks in advance for your action and please call or email if you have any questions or comments.

Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102

BRC ACTION ALERT
MEETINGS ANNOUNCED FOR HIDDEN GEMS WILDERNESS BILL
PLEASE ATTEND OR CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMAN

SITUATION:
U.S. Representative Jared Polis has scheduled several events to take public input on the Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal. The "Hidden Gems Coalition" recently submitted to the Congressman a formal proposal for new designated wilderness areas in the White River National Forest and BLM lands within Summit and Eagle Counties.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
Rep. Polis is asking all stakeholders for their input and full participation in an extensive public review process. Critical in this effort are a series of Public Forums. Please attend one of the public forum meetings and make your concerns known.

Boulder, Colorado - Tuesday, June 1
5:30-7:00 pm
Boulder Public Library
Canyon Theater
1000 Canyon Boulevard
Boulder, CO 80302

Edwards, Colorado - Thursday, June 3
5:30-7:00 pm
Battle Mountain High School
Auditorium
151 Miller Ranch Road
Edwards, CO 81632

Breckenridge, Colorado - Friday, June 4
12:00-1:30 pm
Colorado Mountain College, Breckenridge Campus
Community Auditorium
107 Denison Placer Road
Breckenridge, CO 80424

All public lands users are urged to email any detailed comments or known use conflicts on the Hidden Gems proposal to feedback.polis@mail.house.gov. Interested individuals can also contact Nissa Erickson at 970.668.3240 to schedule a separate meeting.

You may also wish to contact your US Congressman or Senator directly. Find contact info by clicking here and entering your zip code.

Learn more on the web:

Rep. Polis Hidden Gems Webpage
Detailed Maps and other info here
http://polis.house.gov/Wilderness/

The Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign:
www.whiteriverwild.org/

White River Forest Alliance
www.whiteriverforestalliance.org/

Colorado Snowmobile Association
www.coloradosledcity.com/

Old40Dog
05-28-2010, 10:37 PM
Email from the BRC: basically there is a public comment period coming up, and it sounds like a National Recreation Area or current Forest Service management policy would better suit these areas than a Wilderness designation:

BRC ACTION ALERT
MEETINGS ANNOUNCED FOR HIDDEN GEMS WILDERNESS BILL
PLEASE ATTEND OR CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMAN

SITUATION:
U.S. Representative Jared Polis has scheduled several events to take public input on the Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal. The "Hidden Gems Coalition" recently submitted to the Congressman a formal proposal for new designated wilderness areas in the White River National Forest and BLM lands within Summit and Eagle Counties.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
Rep. Polis is asking all stakeholders for their input and full participation in an extensive public review process. Critical in this effort are a series of Public Forums. Please attend one of the public forum meetings and make your concerns known.

Boulder, Colorado - Tuesday, June 1
5:30-7:00 pm
Boulder Public Library
Canyon Theater
1000 Canyon Boulevard
Boulder, CO 80302

Edwards, Colorado - Thursday, June 3
5:30-7:00 pm
Battle Mountain High School
Auditorium
151 Miller Ranch Road
Edwards, CO 81632

Breckenridge, Colorado - Friday, June 4
12:00-1:30 pm
Colorado Mountain College, Breckenridge Campus
Community Auditorium
107 Denison Placer Road
Breckenridge, CO 80424[/url]

I've sent an email to Polis and plan to contact my representative and senators too.

I suggest that we show up in Boulder on Tuesday at the meeting as a group to demonstrate some numbers opposed to this crap! I'm in!

84cruzer
06-03-2010, 11:13 PM
http://www.schofieldpass.com/more/government-addresses/

nuclearlemon
06-05-2010, 02:52 PM
latest from brc...looks like the ohv community got a break for the moment


"I stopped in the office today so I could get a head start on Monday's edition of BRC's Recreation News and the news about the Hidden Gems meetings was so great I couldn't resist sending links to our Colorado Action Alert list.

The OHV and snowmobile community in Colorado came out in force and made a strong statement against the Hidden Gems proposal. It is exciting to see so many off-highway vehicle and snowmobile enthusiasts taking action to protect their recreation opportunities.

The meetings included a panel discussion and Q&A and I'm told Jack Albright from the White River Forest Alliance (WRFA) did an excellent job representing motorized recreation on the panel discussions.

Rep. Polis says he is planning to make his decision on what kind of Wilderness bill he will propose, if any at all. So if you haven't already, please take a minute and make your opinion known. All public lands users are urged to email their opinion on the Hidden Gems proposal to feedback.polis@mail.house.gov."

sank
06-05-2010, 07:56 PM
Gifford Pinchot (August 11, 1865 – October 4, 1946) was the first Chief of the United States Forest Service (1905–1910).

Here are a couple of exerpts from his book, The Fight for Conservation, published 1910, emphasis added by me:


The National Forest Service, one of the chief agencies of the conservation movement, is trying to be useful to the people of this nation. The Service recognizes, and recognizes it more and more strongly all the time, that whatever it has done or is doing has just one object, and that object is the welfare of the plain American citizen. Unless the Forest Service has served the people, and is able to contribute to their welfare it has failed in its work and should be abolished. But just so far as by cooperation, by intelligence, by attention to the work laid upon it, it contributes to the welfare of our citizens, it is a good thing and should be allowed to go on with its work.

The Natural Forests are in the West. Headquarters of the Service have been established throughout the Western country, because its work cannot be done effectively and properly without the closest contact and the most hearty cooperation with the Western people. It is the duty of the Forest Service to see to it that the timber, water-powers, mines, and every other resource of the forests is used for the benefit of the people who live in the neighborhood or who may have a share in the welfare of each locality. It is equally its duty to cooperate with all our people in every section of our land to conserve a fundamental resource, without which this Nation cannot prosper.

...

The conservation issue is a moral issue, and the heart of it is this: For whose benefit shall our natural resources be conserved -- for the benefit of us all, or for the use and profit of the few? This truth is so obvious and the question itself so simple that the attitude toward conservation of any man in public or private life indicates his stand in the fight for public rights.



It seems to me that the USFS seems to have drifted from its mission. It may be fitting to remind them from time to time when sending letters. An IMPORTANT note is that conservation doesn't mean off-limits, it means Sustainable and Renewable. It means not wasting something. Off-limits is a huge waste of national land! In fact, it's not conservation at all!

Wilderness is not for the benefit of us all, but only the few, IMHO. Wilderness fail.