Shepherd: Support the Rocky Mountain Recreation and Wilderness Preservation Act |

Shepherd: Support the Rocky Mountain Recreation and Wilderness Preservation Act

We stood quietly. The bull moose with his grand spreading antlers stopped his willow munching to look at us. The zoom on our cameras cut the distance between us. After a few minutes we left the moose in peace and returned to our campsite. A day earlier we’d sat quietly on top of Pacific Peak watching a pika dart between nearby boulders. A marmot watched us from a farther perch. Later we walked through an alpine meadow below Pacific Peak that was awash in wildflowers, dazzling our eyes. Each of these scenes had brought smiles to our faces. Each deserves protection, so that future generations of visitors to the Tenmile Range can smile too. I gladly support Congressman Jared Polis’ proposal to protect Tenmile Range among other wonderful areas featured in his Rocky Mountain Recreation and Wilderness Preservation Act. It sets a good balance between conservation and recreation. Recreation is what brought us to Summit County for the visit; the memories of the moose, pika, marmot and wildflowers are what will bring us back time and time again.

Like so many other visitors to Eagle and Summit counties, in one short visit not only did we have the pleasure of experiencing solitude in the High Country, surrounded by the sounds of birds, the gurgling of clean mountain streams and the breeze carrying fragrances of wildflowers, but we also enjoyed shopping and eating in two mountain towns, one in each county. Protecting those approximately 60,000 acres of federal land with a mix of wilderness and other designations is crucial to sustaining the thriving tourist economy of Eagle and Summit counties’ mountain towns. Please join me in supporting this Preservation Act.

Janice Shepherd

Grand Junction

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