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 a photographer and director.
In a political climate that has become so polarized, I often wonder to myself at what point the idea of conserving public lands and keeping them public and available for all to enjoy became such a partisan issue. Conserving public lands and thoughtfully determining appropriate locations for extractive uses, was once a notion that spanned party lines.
Republican Teddy Roosevelt was a great protector of public lands and conservation. Even a concept as controversial as wilderness designation has been championed by every Republican and Democratic Senator in Colorado since the passing of the Wilderness Act in 1964 — until now.

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