The election results put a bright light on the horizon for our work to protect public lands and our climate. In January 2021, Colorado will have two U.S. senators who are strong public lands champions and recognize the importance of addressing the climate crisis. Former Governor John Hickenlooper has been an ardent supporter of the CORE Act, and he made his commitment to pass it one of his key campaign messages. And Hickenlooper’s support for locally grown initiatives to protect public lands is not new. As governor he supported efforts to protect the Thompson Divide and the North Fork Valley [...]
Our community has had a lot of heart this year. 2020 has been full of change, compassion, perseverance and let’s be honest, a lot of challenges, here in our backyard and across the nation. Civic engagement soared with Americans voting in record numbers—Colorado had one of the highest turnout rates in the country—and marching in the streets for racial and social justice. At the same time, the pandemic nudged people outdoors, and we all had an opportunity to reconnect with nature and fall more in love with our public lands. Like all issues we care deeply about, civic engagement is critical to protecting wilderness and public lands. Public [...]
Comic: Wilderness Workshop and our superhero partners are fighting to stop the coal mine from destroying any more of the irreplaceable wild forest and wildlife habitat in the North Fork Valley.
BUCK BERLAIMONT Wilderness Workshop has long been engaged in a battle to protect critical winter wildlife habitat in the Eagle Valley from a damaging road across public lands sought by developers of the Berlaimont Estates subdivision near Edwards. The road would access a 680-acre, private inholding deep inside the forest. The developer wants to build 19 new mansions in a rural, fire-prone area, putting expensive property and people at risk due to increased fire activity from climate change. Our work has informed and activated the public and elected officials. More than 4,000 citizens signed a petition in opposition to the road. During the public comment period for the draft environmental impact statement, 95% of comments—submitted by more [...]
AND THE WINNERS ARE... Wilderness Workshop recently held a #Wildforgood photo contest. The paremeters were: a landscape in Colorado, without people or animals and with your smartphone. Many photos rolled in. We then had people vote on Facebook. And, here's what they chose. FIRST PLACE Tessa Lagunas was hiking out to the Crystal Mill when she took this photograph in Gunnison County. The Glenwood Springs resident moved to Colorado seven years ago from Mexico, and recently started participating with Wilderness Workshop’s Defiende Nuestra Tierra program to learn more about public lands access in and around the [...]
WW's Defiende Nuestra Tierra Director, Beatriz Soto recently wrote an op-ed on the importance of protecting our natural resources.
Protecting North Fork Roadless Forests Some of our region’s most spectacular roadless forests are found in the North Fork of the Gunnison River watershed outside the towns of Paonia and Hotchkiss. From Huntsman Ridge in the Thompson Divide to the northern flanks of the West Elk Wilderness, dense aspen forests, wide open meadows, and alpine streams and ponds provide habitat for elk, bear, moose and lynx, as well as northern goshawk, purple martin and Colorado River cutthroat trout. For outdoor enthusiasts, this landscape is a treasure trove for hiking, camping and skiing. Beyond recreation, these wild areas support a [...]
A Roundup of Trump Administration Rollbacks on Environmental Protections We’re in the waning months of a presidential administration that has brazenly steamrolled environmental laws and policies designed to protect the planet and the public. The Trump administration has already gutted dozens of regulations that safeguard public lands and wildlife, reduce climate pollution, preserve public health and give us all a voice in how our shared lands and resources are managed. Unfortunately, we can expect an increasing barrage of attacks in the coming months—the 11th hour is when a potentially outgoing administration accelerates its agenda. With an election looming, victory [...]
Here's What We're Doing to Restore the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness The three women who founded Wilderness Workshop are known locally as the “Maroon Belles” because of their early work to significantly expand the footprint of what’s now the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. We are fortunate that one of the most iconic—and photogenic!—landscapes in the country is right here in our backyard. These lands are the ancestral homelands of the Ute people. When mining prospectors arrived to the Roaring Fork Valley in the late 1800s, some of this area was used for logging and other developments. Wilderness designation and expansion occurred [...]
WW's own Defiende Nuestra Tierra Director, Beatriz Soto recently wrote an op-ed on the connections between COVID-19 and climate change and how impacts from both crises disproportionately impact members of the local Latinx Community.