PROTECTING THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE
During the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Denver this January, Representative Jared Polis and Senator Michael Bennet announced House and Senate versions of the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness, and Camp Hale Legacy Act. The bill would protect over 98,000 acres of public land in Summit and Eagle Counties!
“We were very happy to see that wilderness area expand, because we’re conservationists, as well… Yes, we want to build new trails and recreate just like most user groups. But we are definitely conservationists as well and understand we need to protect our public lands.” – Ernest Saegar, board member, Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association.
Wilderness Workshop, as part of a broad coalition of organizations and citizens, has been working for over a decade to achieve congressional protection for areas in the bill. This is the first time we’ve achieved introduction in both Houses of Congress and the bill enjoys broad support from mountain bikers, county commissioners, local business owners, hunters, veterans, conservationists, and even industry groups like Climax Mines, Excel Energy and Colorado Springs Utility. It would protect a mix of iconic high country and critical low elevation wildlife habitat for wildlife and people alike.
“The entire bill is incredible. People who go there just to recreate will end up learning about our military history, and people going there to see the military history piece might get awakened to some outdoor recreation opportunities.” -Garret Reppenhagen, Iraq War veteran.
The bill would protect:
– 41,229 acres of new wilderness on the eastern half of the White River National Forest.
– A 16,996-acre Recreation Management Area to ensure continued mountain biking, hiking, and increase land protections in the Tenmile Mountain Range outside of Breckenridge.
– Two Wildlife Conservation Areas totaling 11,668 acres to protect critical wildlife linkages near Loveland Pass and in the Williams Fork Mountains.
– Our country’s first National Historic Landscape to protect 28,728 acres of public lands around Camp Hale, home of the WWII-era training grounds of the storied 10th Mountain Division.
We are the premiere organization promoting conservation values on the White River National Forest and surrounding public lands. Join us today!