Monday, September 17, 2007

Who is Driving Wilderness Designation?

The Summit Daily News is reporting on the rush to make much of Colorado off limits to most citizens by declaring it wilderness. It doesn't put it quite that way, but that is what is happening.

In all, the proposal would add about 670,000 acres of wilderness in and around the White River National Forest, with a few pieces of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land and adjacent national forests also under consideration.

"There is an interest in the delegation in a way we haven't seen before," Shoemaker said, singling out Congressman Mark Udall as a wilderness champion.

While the article didn't make clear who was moving this proposal, a commenter did:

This type of designation would shut out huge numbers of trails. This article is incomplete in it's coverage of how these wilderness groups jumped in to make this proposal not from on-the-ground fact finding, but from offices in DC.

It's unfortunate and exclusive, and it's not a win for Summit county without some serious exploration of excluding popular recreation areas.

So, let's get this straight. We have outside groups working secretly from Washington to try to get Congress to set aside huge tracts of national forest in Colorado as "wilderness."

Wilderness isn't managed in any way. Colorado is facing large scale forest die outs from beetles. The forests involved are overgrown and were a potential forest fire even without considering what the beetles would do. If there is a fire similar to the Hayman fire, wilderness designation will make it nearly impossible to try to mitigate the damage to the watershed and start reforestation.

Now, these people want to make it totally impossible to try to manage the problem in 670 thousand more acres. Are they so totally lacking in common sense that they want to create more problems before they fix the ones they are already responsible for? It would appear so.

Annoy Mark Udall and the Sierra Club today. THINK.

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