Mountain biking bill to go before Congressional subcommittee

A bill that, if passed, would allow access for mountain bikes into legally designated wilderness areas will be heard by the House Federal Lands Subcommittee Thursday morning in Washington, D.C. House Bill 1349 is the latest attempt spearheaded by a California-based group called the Sustainable Trails Coalition (STC) to get Congress to amend the 1964 Wilderness Act, which prohibits any form of mechanized transportation in the country’s 756 legally designated Wilderness Areas. Similar bills have been introduced over the course of the past few years, and, not surprisingly, wilderness advocates are opposed to the measure. The bill is the brainchild of [...]

Mountain biking bill to go before Congressional subcommittee2018-04-15T18:13:14+00:00

Wilderness Workshop’s trail efforts incense Pitkin County officials

Wilderness Workshop is trying to stop the Carbondale to Crested Butte Trail by spreading propaganda and misinformation, a majority of Pitkin County commissioners said recently. "They have started to portray their partners as their enemies, is part of what I'm feeling," Commissioner Rachel Richards said. "And they are fundraising off of saying 'Pitkin County's a bad group. Pitkin County doesn't care about the environment.' "You heard a number of their members say, 'We're not going to support renewal of the Open Space and Trails fund. We're anti-trail now. We don't want the county building more trails.'" The executive director of Wilderness [...]

Wilderness Workshop’s trail efforts incense Pitkin County officials2018-04-17T17:43:48+00:00

Camping limits plan cleared at Conundrum Hot Springs, other wilderness near Aspen

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 [...]

Camping limits plan cleared at Conundrum Hot Springs, other wilderness near Aspen2018-04-17T17:48:00+00:00

Objection filed over plan to limit camping at Aspen’s Conundrum Hot Springs

A plan to limit overnight use of hotspots in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness has been delayed, at least temporarily, by a Boulder resident who views himself as an expert on the Conundrum Hot Springs southwest of Aspen. Evan Ravitz filed an objection to an overnight visitor use management plan proposed by the White River National Forest. The objection requires the Forest Service to come up with a legally defensible answer or sit down on at the table in negotiations. Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop also filed an objection but executive director Sloan Shoemaker said the move is to make sure the organization has [...]

Objection filed over plan to limit camping at Aspen’s Conundrum Hot Springs2018-04-17T17:50:11+00:00

Wilderness Workshop hires biologist to assess Crystal Valley trail wildlife impacts

A biologist hired by public lands advocacy group Wilderness Workshop to analyze wildlife-habitat impacts of a proposed trail from Carbondale to Redstone will present his findings early next month. A press release from Wilderness Workshop announcing that it had brought on Boulder-based biologist Rick Thompson stated that the third-party review was not antagonistic toward the Pitkin County project. The county’s open space department has long wanted to build a multi-use trail up the Crystal River Valley as part of a link between Carbondale and Crested Butte, which Gov. John Hickenlooper has identified as one of the top trails priorities in the [...]

Wilderness Workshop hires biologist to assess Crystal Valley trail wildlife impacts2018-04-15T18:24:28+00:00

Aspen environmental groups join fight to protect Bears Ears, other monuments

Two Roaring Fork Valley environmental groups are joining the battle to preserve national monuments in southwestern Colorado, Utah's spectacular redrock country and across the West. Aspen-based EcoFlight and Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop are working to prevent the Trump administration from eliminating or altering boundaries of monuments. President Donald Trump signed an executive order April 26 directing the U.S. Department of the Interior to start the reviews. The agency on Friday identified the 21 national monuments and five Marine National Monuments that will be scrutinized. They include the Canyons of the Ancients in southwest Colorado, Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears in southeastern Utah. [...]

Aspen environmental groups join fight to protect Bears Ears, other monuments2018-04-17T19:50:37+00:00

Valley enviro groups join fight to protect Bears Ears, other national monuments

Two Roaring Fork Valley environmental groups are joining the battle to preserve national monuments in southwestern Colorado, Utah's spectacular red rock country and across the West. Aspen-based EcoFlight and Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop are working to prevent the Trump administration from eliminating or altering boundaries of monuments. President Trump signed an executive order April 26 directing the U.S. Department of Interior to start the reviews. The agency on Friday identified the 21 national monuments and five Marine National Monuments that will be scrutinized. They include the Canyons of the Ancients in southwest Colorado, and Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears in southeastern Utah. [...]

Valley enviro groups join fight to protect Bears Ears, other national monuments2018-04-18T17:27:26+00:00

Plan unveiled to manage overnight use in Aspen’s Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

The White River National Forest released a proposal Thursday to manage the number of overnight visitors in the popular Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness southwest of Aspen. U.S. Forest Service officials said a surge in overnight use is forcing them to take action to preserve natural conditions and maintain a quality experience in wilderness, where mechanized and motorized uses are prohibited. Overnight use on the top 10 trails in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness has increased 115 percent since 2007, according to data tracked by the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District. Conundrum Hot Springs, the Four Pass Loop and Crater Lake have been hit particularly hard. [...]

Plan unveiled to manage overnight use in Aspen’s Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness2018-04-18T00:46:39+00:00
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