Dave Greenberg: Hidden Gems not good for Colo. | SummitDaily.com

Dave Greenberg: Hidden Gems not good for Colo.

Dave Greenberg

I know I’m not the only one who chose to live in Colorado because of all the outdoor recreation. Passing the Hidden Gems proposal is not good for Colorado. There are other options that still protect our PUBLIC National Forest land while still allowing us to explore and enjoy the thousands of acres already being well-managed by the Forest Service. I am in agreement for the most part to protect land from mining and logging, but not a blanket closure of our world-class snowmobile, mountain biking, and other OHV areas. With the pine beetle problem, logging will inevitably have to occur. Scott Fitzwilliams with the White River National Forest service stated last month: “We could make (all forest lands) Wilderness and the issues are still right here, the ones that are really going to monumentally change the characteristics and natural resources of the valley – like (bark beetles) and the huge fuel build-up, development of private land and conservation of open spaces.”

We live in a place with endless recreational opportunities, but unfortunately wilderness designation is the absolute end of the road. The Hidden Gems backers are trying to get what they want even if it is not truly what is in the best interests of the tax-paying residents of Colorado. We may not have the financial backing that they possess, but we have something better which is the freedom to speak out against this proposal in large numbers. If we lose the right to share our land with others recreationally we will not get it back.

On an unrelated note – I think it’s time to remove the traffic signal on west-bound Highway 6 to allow people to turn left onto Swan Mtn. You took away our freedom to turn left at will, and we’d like it back.

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