Steve Smith: Hidden Gems seeking input from all sides
The Wilderness Society/ Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign
The people working on the Hidden Gems Campaign include a 5th generation Coloradan whose family has been ranching for decades, two journalists, two cartographers and several professionals with advanced degrees. Some of us have other jobs in addition to the work we put in for Hidden Gems. One of us is a lawyer. Another sells outdoor equipment. We are in our 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. Some of us have families, while others have yet to. Most of us have lived in Colorado for much if not all of our lives.
We have been reaching out to various stakeholders and user groups in the White River and Gunnison national forests for years. These are our neighbors. We take their input and concerns seriously, and have made significant adjustments to our proposal to meet their needs and concerns. That process is under way now with ranchers, mountain bikers, fire fighters, government representatives and motorized recreation groups represented by the White River Forest Alliance.
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