View Full Version : Mark Udall - Colorado Wilderness

03-07-2012, 07:31 PM
Received via email today...Something to keep an eye on/be concerned about?

Dear Fellow Coloradan,

http://www.markudall.senate.gov/files/images/newsletter/outdoorheritage.jpg (http://ct.symplicity.com/t/muv/b62ba4225cf0ad24cb8a8916bf288b70/338278773/realurl=http:/www.markudall.senate.gov/outdoorheritage)

VIDEO: Protecting our Outdoor Heritage

I kicked off a collaborative, community-driven process to listen to the community and create legislation to protect Colorado's outdoor heritage in two very special places in our state – the Central Mountains and the Arkansas River Canyon. Watch video. (http://ct.symplicity.com/t/muv/b62ba4225cf0ad24cb8a8916bf288b70/338278773/realurl=http:/www.markudall.senate.gov/outdoorheritage)

http://www.markudall.senate.gov/files/images/newsletter/brownscanyon.jpg (http://ct.symplicity.com/t/muv/b62ba4225cf0ad24cb8a8916bf288b70/338278773/realurl=http:/www.markudall.senate.gov/?p=form&id=51)

Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River Maps and Comment Form

The Arkansas River Canyon proposal would protect some of our best-loved river rafting spots along the iconic Arkansas River between Salida and Buena Vista by designating it as a national monument and the adjacent Browns Canyon as wilderness. The official designation would literally put the region on the map, drawing more visitors to the area’s world-class outdoor recreation opportunities and supporting the local tourism economy. Submit comments. (http://ct.symplicity.com/t/muv/b62ba4225cf0ad24cb8a8916bf288b70/338278773/realurl=http:/www.markudall.senate.gov/?p=form&id=51)

http://www.markudall.senate.gov/files/images/newsletter/centralmtns.jpg (http://ct.symplicity.com/t/muv/b62ba4225cf0ad24cb8a8916bf288b70/338278773/realurl=http:/www.markudall.senate.gov/?p=form&id=52)

Central Mountain Maps and Comment Form

The Central Mountains proposal could encompass as many as 32 areas in Eagle, Pitkin and Summit counties, expanding existing wilderness areas in the region, including Holy Cross, Eagles Nest and the Maroon Bells. Legislation could help promote the region as a world-class destination for outdoor recreation. Submit comments. (http://ct.symplicity.com/t/muv/b62ba4225cf0ad24cb8a8916bf288b70/338278773/realurl=http:/www.markudall.senate.gov/?p=form&id=52)

If you close your eyes and think the word “Colorado,” what comes to mind?

For me it’s towering white-capped mountains and the burning sensation in your lungs when climbing that final 100 yards to the top of a 14,000-foot mountain. For others, it might be finding the perfect spot to catch cutthroat trout or making the first tracks on a powder day.

I would hazard a guess that the first thought for many of you involved the immense natural beauty of our state and the quality of life it provides. But preserving our natural lands is about more than just protecting our quality of life – it’s about protecting our livelihood. Wilderness is one of Colorado’s great economic engines.

Activities such as hiking, skiing, paddling and fishing contribute more than $10 billion annually to our economy, supporting some 100,000 Colorado jobs and generating $500 million in state tax revenue. Wilderness ensures that skiers and hikers have beautiful vistas, anglers have clean streams in which to fish, and hunters have healthy big-game herds. These resources attract visitors from all over the nation and world.

That's why I'm proud to launch a collaborative, community-driven process – in partnership with Senator Bennet and affected members of the House of Representatives – that I hope will ultimately allow Colorado to create legislation for wilderness and national monument designations in two areas – the Central Mountains and Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River.

I'm asking Coloradans in those communities what they would like to see from a wilderness proposal. Click here to learn about my proposals, study the maps and weigh in with your comments. (http://ct.symplicity.com/t/muv/b62ba4225cf0ad24cb8a8916bf288b70/338278773/realurl=http:/www.markudall.senate.gov/outdoorheritage)

My goal is to build on work that has been done previously by other members of the Colorado delegation and develop a plan that a majority of the community agrees will support their interests and their local economies. I am proud to use my leadership position on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee to take this work to the next level. In order to facilitate the conversation with these communities, I've developed draft maps of possible wilderness boundaries, which will give us a firm base to compare notes and ideas.

With our population expected to double by 2050, we need to be proactive so that future generations can experience the beauty, clean water and air, and wildlife that we have today. I'm committed to ensuring that Coloradans have a wide variety of options to access public lands for recreation, including places to bike, ski and snowmobile – as well as backcountry trails and wide-open pristine lands that will be preserved for generations. I'm proud of my successful past work to designate wilderness at James Peak and in Rocky Mountain National Park, as well as the proposed San Juan Mountains Wilderness. I look forward to this process and encourage all Coloradans to join in the conversation. (http://ct.symplicity.com/t/muv/b62ba4225cf0ad24cb8a8916bf288b70/338278773/realurl=http:/www.markudall.senate.gov/outdoorheritage)
Warm regards,

03-07-2012, 08:08 PM
"If you close your eyes and think the word “Colorado,” what comes to mind?"

He neglects to say: "Places I can still go and the Federal government leaves me the heck alone."

"Wilderness is one of Colorado’s great economic engines." is very confusing. Wilderness is leave it untouched. the economic engine is intensive uses and extraction industry. Not Wilderness.

03-07-2012, 09:40 PM
Seems contradicting. Wilderness study areas where tourism can play.

03-08-2012, 12:27 PM
Yeah, we need to take a look at this. The San Juan Wilderness proposal wasn't exactly off-road enthusiast friendly. And, yeah, you can't snowmobile in wilderness either :confused:

03-08-2012, 12:40 PM
Cursory look at Arkansas River Proposal:
-Option 1 is not good for motorized vehicle use. It has the largest area of national monument and wilderness, and cuts off a road that is currently legal for all vehicles on national forest.

-Option 2 is better, it leaves the road alone as far as the wilderness boundary is concerned, but still has the large monument area that would probably affect access for rafters/kayakers as well as access to the road.

-Option 3 has the smallest area of national monument and of wilderness, which would probably ease access to the river for rafters and kayakers. The road still enters the national monument boundary though, and could be more easily restricted. And at this point I wonder what the purpose of the monument/wilderness is? That whole area is BLM land right now and doesn't have much access, is almost exclusively hiking access anyways (my aunt and uncle used to have a trailer home right across the river from this spot)...seems superfluous to me.

I'm concerned that in all 3 cases access to the road on the east side of the proposed monument could be restricted.

03-08-2012, 12:56 PM
Cursory look at Central Mountain Proposal:
-doesn't seem to touch many OHV opportunities. The proposed wilderness/SMA is getting closer to OHV opportunities, so that's something to be leary of, but nonetheless I didn't see anything that raised huge red flags for me.

I did wonder, though, what kind of Special Management is required for the tenmile range on the backside of Breckenridge, between it and I-70? I mean, you can see that section of range as you drive up toward Copper Mountain, and it looks, for the most part, unused, being steep hillsides and gullies and with nothing notable to go after. No high peaks, etc. Weird. :confused:

03-10-2012, 01:38 PM
Its all a little weird, thanks for bringing it up Matt.

03-10-2012, 01:52 PM
Jeff brought it up, I just started looking into it a bit ;)

03-15-2012, 08:43 PM
I did wonder, though, what kind of Special Management is required for the tenmile range on the backside of Breckenridge, between it and I-70? I mean, you can see that section of range as you drive up toward Copper Mountain, and it looks, for the most part, unused, being steep hillsides and gullies and with nothing notable to go after. No high peaks, etc. Weird. :confused:
Probably habitat. Versus development or industry.

FWIW, I have backed off from a one-time stance of opposing more Wilderness... from a narrow perspective I've noticed it is no easier to wheel in areas of extractive industry than it is in Wilderness. Witness hunting in Wyoming. Yech, you get even close to the oil fields there and you will see no pronghorn, only cactus, and might smell the sagebrush if it weren't for the overpowering hydrogen sulfide... to the point where open flames are prohibited.

Not my idea of wildlands... But that's Wyoming, right?

03-17-2012, 02:41 AM
It seems i may be drifting off topic here, but I got my antelope last year in the oil fields of WY. There is a small berm around the storage tanks that is for spill containment, one of which I used for prone support after I crawled behind it a long distance to sneak up on my meat. I was very much in the oil fields, my meat had some sludge on its hoof! Those pronghorn are EVERYwhere (no predators, I thinks) like pests... So maybe not the best example to show your point. But I agree with you that wilderness prevents industry. I also think that there are other ways to keep industry out of areas without making it wilderness.

In wilderness, you can't mt bike, rock climb, paraglide, wheel, snow machine, or any number of things. Areas of concern should have individual and specific restrictions applied. Blanket policies such as wilderness are quite the wrong approach, especially for forest land, which explicitly exists for the public to enjoy, not to be kept out of. So if there is a problem area, make a specific policy to address the problem. If there is no problem, get your hands off our public land.

:blah: I'm done now :- )

03-17-2012, 07:52 AM
And was your hunting experience a pleasant one, with the aroma of hydrogen sulfide? Did the oil operators feel warm and fuzzy about a firearms discharge in their field?

Hey I'm not saying you can't get an antelope, but it is far from what I look for in the back country hunting experience. And I don't argue against your observations about Wilderness designation... but if I had to make a choice between extraction and Wilderness, it might not be a decision always on one side.

I think we need more varied designations. But until then... if it doesn't impact existing OHV opportunities, not sure I would be against it.

03-18-2012, 01:34 PM
True, you don't go to WY for a backcountry hunting experience. You go there for 100% fill rate. :- ) (P.S. I didn't smell anything or see any oil workers)

I would say you shouldn't limit your search to if it impacts OHV opportunities. Look for Mt bike trails or ice climbing spots, (the list goes on) so those people can enjoy areas they are accustomed to enjoying. If the issue is extraction, then congress can make a rule specific to extraction in a specific area.