The White River National Forest will start implementing a system to limit backpackers in heavily visited hot spots of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness after the final hurdles were cleared, officials announced Wednesday.
The regional office of the U.S. Forest Service ruled Tuesday on two citizen objections to the proposed Wilderness Overnight Use Management Plan. Minor clarifications were required on three points that addressed how backpackers would be limited and at what numbers. With those clarifications, the regional office gave its blessing to implement the plan.
Officials in the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District said the limits are needed to protect the ecosystem at some of the most popular spots in the wilderness area — Conundrum Hot Springs, the Four Pass Loop and Capital Lake. There’s been an explosion of visits to those areas.