When Garett Reppenhagen returned from Iraq, the need to process the trauma of war led him into Colorado’s backcountry. “My natural instinct was to get outdoors,” he said Friday. “The outdoors became this massive healing thing for me. Without it, I don’t think I would have survived.” One of the special healing places Reppenhagen discovered was Camp Hale, the garrison built in a large meadow between Leadville and Minturn for the burgeoning 10th Mountain Division in the early 1940s. The high alpine beauty — it’s located below Tennessee Pass at an altitude of 9,200 feet — coupled with the rich military [...]
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I agree with the PI’s editorial supporting the CORE Act. The CORE Act is the best legislation introduced for Colorado hunters in a generation. Comprising four previous bills generated over a multi-year period with bipartisan input, it permanently protects several large swaths of land that provide increasingly critical habitat for big game animals. At the same time it codifies more areas for mechanized and motorized recreationists. Population pressure is consuming more and more land that wildlife requires for its health, well-being and reproduction. The CORE Act balances the technological challenges presented by more and varied recreationists accessing the lands shared with [...]
EAGLE COUNTY — White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams is well aware that hundreds of local residents are adamantly and vocally opposed to the proposed Berlaimont development north of Edwards. But last week, he agreed to sit down with a small group of opponents who wanted to make a personal appeal. Berlaimont Estates is a 680-acre parcel of private property surrounded by U.S. Forest Service lands, located north of Edwards and west of the Berry Creek drainage. Owners Petr Lukes and Jana Sobotova have proposed 19 units and nine accessory units on 35-acre or larger parcels in the area. This [...]
I am writing in response to the guest column published in the Post Independent on May 19, by John Charters and Will Roush, “Colorado has opportunity, challenge to balance demands and values of public lands.” As a local business owner who recreates on public lands with my family, I commend the authors for highlighting the ever-growing need for collaboration and compromise in protecting the landscapes that we all love and enjoy. I’ve lived in Carbondale for 22 years, and love our public lands for hunting, biking, skiing and climbing. The wildlands here are also a key part of my business as [...]
The Carbondale nonprofit, Wilderness Workshop, announced recently that more than 100 local businesses have signed on to support a campaign to celebrate the role that public lands play in bolstering the statewide economy. A poster listing those businesses will be displayed in numerous locations throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, the nonprofit says in a news release. Also, Conservation Colorado, a Denver nonprofit, has named the dozens of statewide businesses that have joined together to communicate their appreciation of public lands. Collectively, those businesses are urging U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner to protect them in Congress by supporting the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and [...]
May 18 was the third anniversary of Colorado Public Lands Day, and we can’t help but reflect on the bounty of beautiful and diverse landscapes, endless backcountry recreation adventures, and economic opportunities that our public lands provide. With an increasing population and millions of tourists flocking to our state annually to enjoy the outdoors, Colorado has both an opportunity and challenge to balance the myriad demands on and values of public lands. By-and-large, our state sets an example among western states for thoughtful, well-balanced stewardship and management of public lands. Perhaps the best vindication of this thoughtful approach and commitment to [...]
More than a dozen years ago, an unusual coalition of ranchers, outdoorsmen, recreationists, local government leaders and environmentalists banded together to try to prevent oil and gas development in the Thompson Divide area. The Thompson Divide Coalition has had success, ultimately convincing federal land managers to cancel some two dozen leases in the sprawling backcountry south of Glenwood Springs and west of Carbondale that were issued without adequate impact reviews. The coalition’s grassroots influence also helped sway a U.S. Forest Service decision in 2015 to place the lands off limits to new oil and gas leases for at least the next [...]
Alliance for the Great Outdoors: How Wilderness Workshop and the Caribou Club joined forces for Wild Feast
The legendary Caribou Club is an Aspen landmark with a rich history in Colorado's most famous ski town. The elegant restaurant and club would never have come to fruition if not for one man, Harley Baldwin. Harley was a classic mountain town character. He rolled into town in 1968 with only $1,200 in his pocket and big dreams in his head. Through ingenuity and perseverance, not to mention a captivating personality, he became a major player in the burgeoning resort town. He bought several properties in Aspen including the 1892 Collins Building, which was in disrepair. Harley renovated the retail units [...]
Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy (CORE) Act gets day in Congress, supporters and opponents testify about act’s merits
The Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy Act, a sweeping public lands bill focused on Colorado with significant provisions for Summit County, had its first hearing in Congress on Tuesday with the House Natural Resources Committee. The bill, which combines four previously introduced public lands bills protecting 400,000 Colorado acres from development, is being pushed strongly by its primary sponsors, Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulder) in the House of Representatives and Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, in the Senate. Of the four original bills, the most significant for Summit is the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness and Camp Hale Legacy Act. That bill would [...]
Legislative withdrawal of the Thompson Divide from future oil and natural gas leasing got its first congressional hearing in Washington, DC this week as part of an overall hearing on the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Economy (CORE). And, Roaring Fork Valley residents were on-hand for support. Stacey Bernot, former Carbondale mayor, Bill Fales, owner of Cold Mountain Ranch, Mike Pritchard of the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association and the Thompson Divide Coalition, and current Carbondale Mayor Dan Richardson attended Tuesday’s hearing. By the time they return to the Valley later this week, they will have talked to Congressman Joe Neguse, who introduced [...]