When Connie Harvey, Dottie Fox and Joy Caudill set out 50 years ago to protect public lands in the Roaring Fork Valley, their vision likely didn’t included a three-course meal and a party at Hunter S. Thompson’s place.

This is a big week for the Wilderness Workshop, the local environmental group that is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and this week it’s in full swing.

On Wednesday night Harvey was joined by a few hundred people at a private event and Saturday many in the valley will join the party at Wildfest at Owl Farm, Thompson’s longtime residence.

“I didn’t even try to imagine anything that far in the future,” she said about Wednesday’s dinner at Aspen’s Caribou Club. “It’s very encouraging. It’s great that people care about these things. In the next 50 years, I’d like to see more of the world in tune with conservation and nature.”

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