Mary Fagan: Wilderness designation not the only tool |

Mary Fagan: Wilderness designation not the only tool

I find the Hidden Gem proposal disingenuous. The Wilderness Workshop’s website claims that their only intent is to protect our national forest from mining and gas-drilling and that federal Wilderness is the ONLY designation possible. These statements are untruthful and downright deceitful. There are plenty of non-Wilderness designations that would prevent the natural beauty from being damaged by mining and gas-exploration AND still leave our lands open to ALL forms of recreation. Examples would be management prescriptions 1.32, 3.31, 3.32 (Backcountry Recreation) in the White River’s Forest Plan. These are details that the Hidden Gems campaign conveniently forgets to mention in any of their literature or presentation.

I would like to urge everyone to do a little more research on their own to see that there are other solutions than outright Wilderness designations. If the Hidden Gems campaign’s real intentions were to stave off development in our forests, they would be presenting this information. Unfortunately, they are serving their narrow interests by excluding the rest of Colorado through their dishonesty. I urge everyone to do a little research and NOT support the Hidden Gems!

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