Polis releases website, forum dates for Hidden Gems | SummitDaily.com

Polis releases website, forum dates for Hidden Gems

Congressman Jared Polis released an updated schedule of public events Tuesday for public review of the Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal. The Hidden Gems campaign recently submitted to the Congressman a formal proposal for new designated wilderness areas in the White River National Forest within Summit and Eagle counties. Polis is asking all affected stakeholders for their input and participation in an “extensive public review process.”

“After receiving the coalition’s proposal, we now need the help of every possible stakeholder to put it under the microscope and make sure it checks out, before my office decides if or how we go forward,” Polis said. “Our goal is to examine this proposal area by area, trail by trail, and gather as much public input as possible. At the end of the day, if there are areas that are appropriate for wilderness designation, we will seriously consider thoughtful legislation for those specific areas, but we will not pursue wilderness where it is not appropriate.”

Polis will host three public community forums in June to allow area residents and affected stakeholders to share their input, dissect proposal maps, and address questions regarding the Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal. Congressman Polis’ Frisco office is also holding open office hours (schedule at http://www.polis.house.gov/calendar) with his district representative for the area, Nissa Erickson.

Polis has also set up a page on his website – http://www.polis.house.gov/wilderness – where residents can view maps of the Hidden Gems proposal, learn more about wilderness and the process of wilderness designation, and submit comments on the areas under consideration in the proposal. Members of the public can scroll down to the bottom of the page to find a form that enables them to make general comments and offer their perspectives on one or more individual parcels.

“If hundreds of people are commenting on one particular area, that would be a red flag,” said Lara Cottingham, spokeswoman for Polis’s office.

Residents may also directly e-mail comments on the Hidden Gems Proposal to feedback.polis@mail.house.gov. Interested individuals can contact Nissa Erickson at (970) 668-3240 to schedule a separate meeting.

– Julie Sutor

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