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Calls Needed to Stop Massive New Closures Proposed By Wilderness Extremists

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Dear BRC Supporters in Colorado,

This is a HIGH PRORITY update.


Flush with funding from wealthy donors and foundations in Washington D.C., a group called the Wilderness Workshop is pushing for 600,000 acres of new Wilderness in Colorado by next year.


Mountain bike, snowmobile and OHV users will lose world-class trails and areas. This proposal would make over 75% of the Four Mile, Clear Fork, Spruce Mountain, Basalt Mountain, Red Tables, Hagerman Pass, Huntsman's Ridge and Thompson Creek areas Wilderness.


This Hidden Gems proposal appears to be much more than the typical "wish list" from the Wilderness activists. BRC confirmed with the Natural Resource staff for Representative Jared Polis that, although there is no bill at this time, Representative Polis is holding meetings and talking to stakeholders. The goal is to have draft legislation prepared soon.

Local staff for Representative Salazar, whose district also includes lands in the Hidden Gems proposal, said that at this time they had no immediate plans to sponsor or co-sponsor the Hidden Gems proposal.

Congressman Salazar is concentrating on his own Wilderness bill, called the ''San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act." This legislation includes 63,475 acres on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, Gunnison and San Juan National Forests, as well as lands managed by the San Juan Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Resource Area.


Please call your Congressman TODAY. We've provided the phone numbers and some suggestions on what to say below.

EXTRA CREDIT: Learn what this and a Wilderness bill in Montana may have in common. Read Big Foundation Dollars Behind "Local" Wilderness Proposals in Colorado and Montana.

Please pass this on to friends and family. And as always, if you have any questions or comments, we want to hear from you.

Brian Hawthorne

Public Lands Policy Director

BlueRibbon Coalition

208-237-1008 ext 102

PS. If you are looking for a bit of motivation to take action on this, please take a minute and read a special message from Sean Martin:


Step 1. Type in your zip code here to find contact info for your congressman.

Step 2. Call the number of the office located nearest to you. BE POLITE

Tell the staff member who answers your call:

I strongly OPPOSE the Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal that Congressman Polis is considering sponsoring (make sure the staff is clear on your opposition).

There is no serious threat to these lands. If there were, then recreation-friendly alternatives, such as a National Recreation Area, would be a better idea than Wilderness, which locks out most recreation.

Please tell the Congressman that I want him to protect FOR the public, not FROM the public.

Step 3. Forward this alert to your friends and family.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you live in Delta, Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Mesa, Pitkin or Summit County, please also call your county commissioners. (Contact information here)

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. http://www.sharetrails.org




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Colorado has enough wilderness, please join our alliance to ensure you and your grandkids still have riding areas in Colorado. This affects all of us whether on a mtn bike, or a motorcycle. News from our progress:

We do now have our website up and running and it is changing daily. Please visit it and let us know what you think. http://www.whiteriverforestalliance.com We plan on having the ability to start taking free memberships plus donations to the White River Forest Alliance late next week. Additionally we are working on a awareness campaign and we hope to get maps, flyers and posters out later next week also. This combined with the website and emails will hopefully tie the whole campaign together. Once we get this done we will post these anywhere and everywhere we can think of. We intend to pass these out all over western Colorado. We need to get to counties like Delta, Gunnison, Mesa and Summit where very few people know about this proposal and let them know how it will effect them! When we get these materials done we will defiantly be looking for volunteers to get the info out there and distributed in the different areas and communities.

Learn about the Gems and bikers' concerns

To learn more about the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign go to www.whiteriverwild.org/. The website has detailed descriptions of the targeted areas, including size, location, access and “potential threats.” Maps locate the areas within the Roaring Fork Valley and show where proposed Wilderness boundary lines would be.

To learn more about the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association's assessment of the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign go to www.rfmba.org/mtb/advocacy.aspx. The website provides the full draft letter to Colorado's Congressional delegation, outlines trails that would become off-limits and pinpoints affected areas on maps. Hidden Gems in the Roaring Fork Valley

Following is a list of the properties in the Roaring Fork River drainage that a coalition of environmental groups wants protected as part of the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign.

Assignation Ridge, 6 miles south of Carbondale, 25,537 acres

Basalt Mountain, portion of the massive midvalley mountain, 12,855 acres

Crystal River, 17 miles on the east side of Highway 133, 6,503 acres

Eagle Mountain, 1.5 miles west of Snowmass Village, 316 acres

East Willow, 20 miles southwest of Carbondale, 8,514 acres

Gallo Hill, northwest of Marble, 1,651 acres

Hay Park, 5 miles southwest of Basalt, 5,011 acres

Hayes Creek, 16 miles south of Carbondale, 9,927 acres

McClure Pass, just south of the divide, 1,684 acres

Mormon Creek, northwest of Thomasville, 4,115 acres

North Independent & Hunter, east of Aspen, 9,278

Red Table, north of middle Fryingpan Valley, 63,933 acres

Ruby Lakes, 17 miles southeast of Aspen, 2,428 acres

Thompson Creek, 8 miles southwest of Carbondale, 32,151 acres

Treasure Mountain, 3 miles southeast of Marble, 3,866 miles

Wildcat Mountain, 10 miles northeast of Aspen, 15,337 acres

Woods Lake, north of Fryingpan Valley, 13,718

Total acres: 217,000

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