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  1. #1
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    Udall/Bennet Wilderness Proposal

    Following up on previous attempts at Wilderness designation, Udall has
    teamed up with Bennet, Degett and Polis for another stab at declaring
    235,773 Acres in Central Colorado as Wilderness, and 20,000 Acres along
    the Arkansas River between Buena Vista and Salida as a National
    Monument/Wilderness Area.
    Udall Launches Community Conversations about Wilderness, Jobs | Mark Udall | U.S. Senator for Colorado
    Protecting our Outdoor Heritage | Mark Udall | U.S. Senator for Colorado

    We are being told that Wilderness Designation attracts business and helps
    the state economy, although no tangible data has ever been provided to
    support these claims and the logic of restricting public access to public
    lands equaling jobs is questionable IMHO.

    These areas are already managed by the USFS and/or BLM. You know
    more about these areas than I do. Maybe there are bike trails, or future
    bike trails, within some of these areas? Maybe there's some other
    recreational activity in these areas that will be restricted by Wilderness
    designation?

    Central Mountains Outdoor Heritage Proposal

    <table style="width: 431px; height: 981px;" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><colgroup><col style="mso-width-source:userset;mso-width-alt:4022;width:83pt" width="110"> <col style="width:48pt" span="2" width="64"> </colgroup><tbody><tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt;width:83pt" width="110" height="17">Proposed Unit</td> <td style="width:48pt" width="64">Acres</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td style="width:48pt" width="64">County</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Acorn Creek</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">1,139</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Summit</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Adam Mountain</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">7,224</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Eagle</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Bull Gulch</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">15,136</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Eagle</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Castle Peak</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">12,150</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Eagle</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Castle Peak SMA</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">5,640</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Eagle</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Crystal River</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">5,744</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Pitkin</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Eagle Mountain</td> <td align="right">315</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Pitkin</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Freeman Creek</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">1,201</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Eagle</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Hay Park</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">5,278</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Pitkin</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Hay Park East</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">5,414</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Pitkin</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Hayes Creek</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">6,213</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Pitkin</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Hoosier Compan</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">1,641</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Summit</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Hoosier Ridge</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">4,639</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Summit</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Hunter </td> <td class="xl24" align="right">2,799</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Pitkin</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Mormon Creek</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">4,111</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Pitkin</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">No Name </td> <td class="xl24" align="right">4,000</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Eagle</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">North Indep</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">4,493</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Pitkin</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">North Independ</td> <td align="right">934</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Pitkin</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Pisgah Mtn SMA</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">13,770</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Eagle</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Porcupine Gulch</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">6,356</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Summit</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Ptarmigan A</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">2,266</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Summit</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Red Table SMA</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">55,927</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Eagle</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Ruby Lakes</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">2,428</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Pitkin</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Spraddle Creek</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">9,469</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Eagle</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Tenmile </td> <td class="xl24" align="right">3,851</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Summit</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Tenmile Compan</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">3,239</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Summit</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Thompson Creek</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">13,276</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Pitkin</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Thompson Cr.BLM</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">6,970</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Pitkin</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Ute Pass</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">2,927</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Summit</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">West Lake Creek</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">3,345</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Eagle</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Wildcat Mtn</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">5,922</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Pitkin</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Williams Fork</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">9,338</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Summit</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">Woods Lake</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">7,053</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>Eagle</td> </tr> <tr style="height:12.75pt" height="17"> <td style="height:12.75pt" height="17">TOTAL</td> <td class="xl24" align="right">235,773</td> <td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td>
    </td> </tr> </tbody></table>

    Central Mountains Outdoor Heritage Maps and Comment Forms
    Mark Udall | U.S. Senator for Colorado

    Browns Canyon Maps (Arkansas River) and Comment Forms
    Mark Udall | U.S. Senator for Colorado


    I realize Wilderness designation is a highly charged issue and I respect the
    decision of each of you to either support or not-support the proposal. If
    you read through the above provided links you will find opportunities to
    comment as you wish.

    For previous pro/con comments on Wilderness you can also refer to this
    previous thread from Degett's land grab last year.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/colorado-fron...ab-722292.html

    and another on Salazar's attempt:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/colorado-fron...ye-674907.html

  2. #2
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    I couldn't find a map of the proposed area. That would be helpful in preparing a response.
    EDIT: Typo

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jradin View Post
    I couldn't find a map of the proposed area. That would be helpful in preparing a response.
    EDIT: Typo
    Sorry, his webmaster must have spammed the URL with the "Mark Udall | U.S. Senator for Colorado" in the Title field.

    Central Mountains Outdoor Heritage Maps and Comment Forms
    Click here

    Browns Canyon Maps (Arkansas River) and Comment Forms
    Click here

    Many thanks for the advocacy effort!
    UT

  4. #4
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    Browns should be approved

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Following up on previous attempts at Wilderness designation, Udall has
    teamed up with Bennet, Degett and Polis for another stab at declaring
    235,773 Acres in Central Colorado as Wilderness, and 20,000 Acres along
    the Arkansas River between Buena Vista and Salida as a National
    Monument/Wilderness Area.
    Udall Launches Community Conversations about Wilderness, Jobs | Mark Udall | U.S. Senator for Colorado
    Protecting our Outdoor Heritage | Mark Udall | U.S. Senator for Colorado

    We are being told that Wilderness Designation attracts business and helps
    the state economy, although no tangible data has ever been provided to
    support these claims and the logic of restricting public access to public
    lands equaling jobs is questionable IMHO.

    These areas are already managed by the USFS and/or BLM. You know
    more about these areas than I do. Maybe there are bike trails, or future
    bike trails, within some of these areas? Maybe there's some other
    recreational activity in these areas that will be restricted by Wilderness
    designation?
    ...
    I realize Wilderness designation is a highly charged issue and I respect the
    decision of each of you to either support or not-support the proposal. If
    you read through the above provided links you will find opportunities to
    comment as you wish...
    Browns Canyon Wilderness is out north of Salida on the wild side of the Arkansas. It should be wilderness.

    Salida Mountain Trails confronted this issue way back in the early 2000's. The Friends of Browns approached us for a letter of support. We reviewed the map of the proposed chunk of land they wanted to set aside. It was much bigger. It started right at Ute Trail, the dirt road that heads up into the Arkansas Hills out of the west side of Salida.

    We balked, because there are some old doubletracks that drop down to the state highway, 291 that goes west out of town within the boundaries of that map. These were used as mtb rides and there was/is potential for a big ride singletrack to be built out that way. That chunk of land was a big part of our plan for development of Salida local trails.

    They responded. Based on our concerns they pushed the boundary way back, to Railroad Gulch. That left the door open to building the routes that would even be practical. We officially supported that map and have supported the effort ever since.

    The chunk of land that is included in all three of those maps is very VERY rugged. It would be impractical to build rideable singletrack in it. Further, lots of the hunter types in this area believe that the next record trophy bull elk will come out of that tangle of steep rocky canyons. Most of the NRA members in Chaffee County support it. A few jag-offs got the NRA to protest it officially. But they (according to my sources) tend to be the ones who plant their butts at the rifle range punching holes in paper. The ones who hunt are for the designation.

    Next time you're driving out of Nathrop, look east at what we're talking about. Even as seen from 285 its a breathtaking landscape.

    I don't know much about most of the others. There were several down in Fremont County between Salida and Canyon City that are not on that list. Only one of those was an area of concern for lost riding opportunities.

    My $.02.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  5. #5
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    This is a joke, these two first class clowns have nothing better to do with their time than propose wilderness legislation that already got beat around the bush a year ago by that other butthole politician.

    Like a true idiot some how udal can equate economic development and jobs to wilderness legislation. I don't get it.

    Instead of focusing on the real problems in the state of colorado and the country they focus on some bs feel good agenda instead of dealing with real issues.

    This is what we expect from a senator? The kicker is a bunch of local politicians surrounded him at his little speech in frisco the other day. They all look good don't they? One day udall is having lunch with robby katz. In turn robby gives udall a bunch of cash for his reelection and udall give katz free reign to develop whatever they heck he wants on public lands. Then udall turns around and propose some kind of wilderness to feel good about what he lets robby get away with. Sounds like a contradiction to me.

  6. #6
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    Wilderness brings in money.

    Quote Originally Posted by ripper roo View Post
    ...Like a true idiot some how udal can equate economic development and jobs to wilderness legislation. I don't get it...
    I do not wish to be argumentative, but I know something about this. I served for a couple years on our county's Visitors Bureau Board.

    There are people who make their vacation travel plans based on where there are Wilderness Areas. One very good example: many people don't know that birding is one of the fastest growing outdoor recreation activities in the USA.

    There are people who will travel thousands of miles, even internationally, to see and photograph bird species that are on their list. It's kind of like bagging 14ers for them. They want to mark the Merlin or the Western Tanager or the Rufous Hummingbird off their list. They'll book their summer vacation to someplace where their target species can be found. Wilderness Areas are a big draw. Just one example there are more.

    Here's the kicker--these people are affluent. They stay in hotels, they eat in restaurants, if they forget their windbreaker they'll go into a local store and happily pay full MSRP for top of the line.

    So yeah, it's economic development. Tourism is big business in Colorado. Wilderness Areas bring dollars in. And it's not the Texans pulling 10 ATVs who buy some gas and stop in to Walmart once or twice per week to stock up on cheap food then set up their campers in at-large (free) camping areas. It's people who actually spend on stuff in places where the money stays in the community, not going to shareholders of Walmart and Shell Oil.

    I've got mixed feelings about Wilderness too. I think that prohibiting cycling in all Wilderness is wrong. There are places in Wilderness where it's inappropriate and places where it is fine. But to say that Wilderness designations are not economic development is false.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    I do not wish to be argumentative, but I know something about this. I served for a couple years on our county's Visitors Bureau Board.
    ....
    I've got mixed feelings about Wilderness too. I think that prohibiting cycling in all Wilderness is wrong. There are places in Wilderness where it's inappropriate and places where it is fine.
    Tom I don't disagree with you completely but I have to ask.

    How does designating an area as Wilderness protect the wildlife, when by
    your own admission you are creating a place that will only draw in more
    people, more traffic and create exactly the conditions that chase wildlife
    away?

    If we really want to preserve the wildlife, shouldn't we just leave it alone?
    It's still BLM/USFS public land. It's not going anywhere. If the wildlife are
    there right now we must be doing something right. The birders will still
    come regardless of Wilderness designation IMHO.

    But if the true goal is to eliminate drilling, which is what I believe it is, why not
    just pass legislation to ban it? Why do we have to go to the other
    extreme with Wilderness designation? Hasn't Obama already passed an
    Executive Order banning drilling in these areas?

    Why not let them drill then be done with it 10 years down the road and
    turn it into a Wilderness area then?

    It just seems like they're trading one impact for another and trying to ban
    drilling forever with Wilderness designations. I really struggle with this, b/c
    that's why we have a system of elected officials. Shouldn't we let the
    system work and let each generation of voters decide these issues during
    their time in the voting booth?

    Why the need for pseudo protection, in-perpetuity? That's my 2 cents.

    Thanks Tom. You made some really good points.

  8. #8
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    TomP - I'm sure you are correct with your statements, but I wonder how bringing more tourists or visitors to an area helps keep it "wild" (as in wilderness).
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  9. #9
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    whole different thing

    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    TomP - I'm sure you are correct with your statements, but I wonder how bringing more tourists or visitors to an area helps keep it "wild" (as in wilderness).
    Now that there is a whole different question.

    Does Wilderness Act designation promote wildness?

    Sure, more boot tracks in a truly rugged environment that never saw much or any extractive industry (mining, logging, etc) or mechanized travel probably can be said to reduce the wildness of a place. Horses for sure. That's a juicy issue. Non-native weed seeds travelling in a horse's colon are a huge impact, not to mention the erosion...

    But 1000 birders, hiking hunters, backpackers or whatever other legal users of Wilderness Areas do not equal one pack of woo-hooing ATVers leaving behind a pall of dust and blue smoke, and a trail of candy wrappers and coors light cans in terms of impact.

    If Wilderness designation keeps them away, wildness definitely benefits. Without a doubt.

    We see the hunters who come from out of state. If they kill something, they will ride their lawn tractors cross country, through creeks and riparian areas or whatever to the down animal so they won't risk breaking a sweat to haul out the portion of it that they actually want to keep.

    When I hunt the big critters, I walk into Wilderness on foot. Hunting should be work. It shouldn't be slightly harder than watching NASCAR from a lazy boy.

    My $.02
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  10. #10
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    Well sure, thats both ends of the spectrum I suppose. Isn't there something easier and simpler that can be done... like just banning motorized vehicles from an area?
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  11. #11
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    clarification: I did not write the Wilderness Act.

    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    Well sure, thats both ends of the spectrum I suppose. Isn't there something easier and simpler that can be done... like just banning motorized vehicles from an area?
    Listen, I'm not some mouthpiece for the Sierra Club. Far from it. I've been making the argument that either there should be some kind of protection other than the Wilderness Act or that the Wilderness Act should be interpreted in a more flexible way for years. You're preaching to the choir on that one brother.

    I just threw in here

    1) The Brown's Canyon proposed Wilderness is (I think) a good deal when taken as a single case. Read my post about that (too rugged for mountain biking, killer habitat, most notably a really strong elk herd).

    2) Wilderness can be an economic stimulant.

    Please don't assume that because I have some good things to say about Wilderness designation that I'm some kind of Wilderness Zealot/Mike Vandeman apostle. Believe me; I'm not.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Tom I don't disagree with you completely but I have to ask.

    How does designating an area as Wilderness protect the wildlife, when by
    your own admission you are creating a place that will only draw in more
    people, more traffic and create exactly the conditions that chase wildlife
    away?

    If we really want to preserve the wildlife, shouldn't we just leave it alone?
    It's still BLM/USFS public land. It's not going anywhere. If the wildlife are
    there right now we must be doing something right. The birders will still
    come regardless of Wilderness designation IMHO.

    But if the true goal is to eliminate drilling, which is what I believe it is, why not
    just pass legislation to ban it? Why do we have to go to the other
    extreme with Wilderness designation? Hasn't Obama already passed an
    Executive Order banning drilling in these areas?

    Why not let them drill then be done with it 10 years down the road and
    turn it into a Wilderness area then?

    It just seems like they're trading one impact for another and trying to ban
    drilling forever with Wilderness designations. I really struggle with this, b/c
    that's why we have a system of elected officials. Shouldn't we let the
    system work and let each generation of voters decide these issues during
    their time in the voting booth?

    Why the need for pseudo protection, in-perpetuity? That's my 2 cents.

    Thanks Tom. You made some really good points.
    See my earlier post for some of this, where I point out that I'm not some kind of spokesperson for the Wilderness Act.

    Let me just talk about a local issue, the Browns Canyon Proposal. And for the record, that's the only thing I actually promoted in this thread.

    I think Browns deserves protection. Protecting land that happens to be below 9,000 feet elevation doesn't really happen in Colorado.

    The Wilderness Act is what we have. The legislation on the table to use The Wilderness Act to protect Browns is what we have.

    Do you honestly believe that Congress is going to brew up something special, some other designation right now? This Congress? Holy crap, they can't agree on one stupid thing right now.

    And regarding your asserting that Wilderness designation is forever:

    1) Nothing in this country is forever. Gingrich and his cohort tried to start a movement to sell off all kinds of public land 20 years ago. They were getting some traction. A future Congress could do whatever.
    2) The current interpretation of the Wilderness Act to exclude bicycles is arbitrary. In the 80's after the Act was over 10 years old a congressional sub-committee wrote a rider to the act to exclude bicycles and a few other forms of non-motorized mechanized equipment. It was based on an interpretation of the original language in the act. IMBA has been trying to throw out that rider for YEARS. Ask Gary Sprung about it.

    EDIT: Check this out: IMBA Resources: Land Protection and Mountain Biking: Congress Amends The Wilderness Act, Wheelchair Provisions Open Debate On Bicycling
    Last edited by TomP; 02-28-2012 at 11:55 AM.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Please don't assume that because I have some good things to say about Wilderness designation that I'm some kind of Wilderness Zealot/Mike Vandeman apostle. Believe me; I'm not.

    Oh man, I sure dont think you are like that at all. I think I eKnow you well enough to know its not Vandeman behind the keyboard. Just throwing it up for discussion and hoping I gain some perspective and enlightenment.
    I believe wilderness has a place as well. However, when the purpose of creating Wilderness is to "protect" it, then economic growth is used as reasoning to make an area wilderness (protected)... it seems a bit contradictory.
    Your story of the ATVing 4 wheelers is a great example of how one person can really fvck it for everyone else; and I just hate laws based on one person, or a few people's, stupidity.
    Thats what I feel happens with much of the new wilderness designations.
    Its good to hear that other groups are working with you on possible bike trails and adjusting wilderness borders accordingly.
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  14. #14
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    TomP: Well written posts. The others also. This might be the most useful and relevant thread in a long time.

  15. #15
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    More to it...?

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyinCO View Post
    TomP: Well written posts. The others also. This might be the most useful and relevant thread in a long time.
    I agree that there are a lot of well articulated points here as well as a respectful dialog. It's nice to see.

    The only thing I might add is that I am hearing from sources in the Forest Service, BLM, etc. that they too are struggling with budget constraints, less resources, and the same type of overall symptoms that all other private and public entities are at this time. Designating large chunks of land as "wilderness" helps them to actually manage more land with less resources. Yes, even if "wilderness' brings in some additional tourism, it's still far easier to manage and maintain in a "wild" state and undeveloped.

    Along with this legislation there is also a change coming in the Forest Service policy along these same lines. Having grown up here in CO I did a lot of dirt biking as a kid. The general rule was that anything (official trails and roads) NOT posted as specifically non-motorized were open to motorized vehicles. That has been changing and now, the rule is about to change to the exact opposite. Unless it is posted motorized, then it's off limits. This is pretty far-reaching from what I'm hearing and will close a lot of miles of trail and road to OHV users. And, the same sources as I cited above are saying it's really just a policy change to make things easier to manage with less resources. So, that affects motorized users more than us, but it's an example of the same driving forces behind...or to be fair...PARTIALLY behind some of this legislation.

    Just another thing to bring up and not to play the cynic, but dollars are always attached to these kinds of decisions from what I have seen. It's rarely all based on one reason...like environmental preservation. To be fair, that may be a real benefit of course...and obviously the one the PR machines will use to sell it. But, we all know there's usually more to it.

    Here is a link to the rule change I referenced above. Each location has to interpret it, but the net result will be what I described above: USDA Forest Service - Caring for the land and serving people.

    All I know from having watched and participated in all this as I've grown up here in CO is that I sort of miss "the frontier." My grandpa used to drive his Jeep all over Green Mountain in the 50's and 60's. It was just open land and regarded as "out there." Things have changed obviously. But, for my part, I'll engage positively with people in hopes of coming to fair solutions that benefit all user groups.
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  16. #16
    zrm
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    First off, Tom P: Don't bother with Ripper Roo. He's generally not someone you can have an adult conversation with.


    The Summit Fat tire Society has been working with the wilderness folks for several years now. We've had our ups and downs, and there have been times when feathers have been ruffled but the talks will continue. I think both parties have come to a point where there is some mutual respect for each others point of view and some innovative ideas have been put on the table. The idea of "companion designations" has the potential to protect a lot of areas with close to wilderness act levels but allow MTB use. Although a work in progress, this could be a huge precedent for the future.

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    I'm still upset that they bulldozed my house in the name of open space.

    We used to shoot guns in the backyard. And when they showed up to put out our bonfire that was a hoot. Told the cops and fire fighters to back off. It was really dark up there and they got kinda scard with all the yelling. They left but set up a road block at the end of the road. Then the time the indian killed the miner over the ugly chick they were fighting over. All that good stuff is over thanks to open space.

    See wilderness open space is all about putting the man down and making more laws to harrass people.

    Now their printing maps of all the trails around breckenridge what next.

  18. #18
    zrm
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    Rip is loosing it. Even more incoherent than usual.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    The Summit Fat tire Society has been working with the wilderness folks for several years now. We've had our ups and downs, and there have been times when feathers have been ruffled but the talks will continue. I think both parties have come to a point where there is some mutual respect for each others point of view and some innovative ideas have been put on the table. The idea of "companion designations" has the potential to protect a lot of areas with close to wilderness act levels but allow MTB use. Although a work in progress, this could be a huge precedent for the future.
    This is a great thread and Tom P. makes some very excellent and well articulated points. I am in favor of protecting the Browns Canyon Wilderness Study Area from development and from motorized access, but I'm not sure Wilderness Designation is the answer. ZRM's mentioning of "companion designations" brings to mind the current "roadless designation" that the area already enjoys: Colorado's Forest Legacy

    People that are interested in "birding" or wildlife viewing, etc. can enjoy these activities now, Wilderness Designation is not going to draw more wildlife to the area. Further more, there are currently a few decent bike rides in the area that would be closed off if the designation changed...
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by lwmyers View Post
    Further more, there are currently a few decent bike rides in the area that would be closed off if the designation changed...
    I am surprised that no-one, especially Tom P, inquired about this statement....

    Personally I prefer to share some of our lesser known trails. So, if you want to check out a couple of decent, little known rides that may no longer be accessible after Wilderness designation, check this out:

    Head up CR 185 from south of Trout Creek Pass towards Aspen Ridge. At Bassam Park you will encounter a spur road (185D) that heads off to the west. About 1 mile up this road you will see this sign on your left -



    park here and start to ride. The trail starts as an old faint double-track, but quickly changes to singletrack. Within a mile or 2 you will start to see spur trails heading off to the west (downhill). These form several loops in the headwaters area of Middle Cottonwood and Cottonwood Creeks. Some are better quality than others, but all are worth exploring
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by lwmyers View Post
    I am surprised that no-one, especially Tom P, inquired about this statement....

    Personally I prefer to share some of our lesser known trails...
    I didn't see the original post. I don't often keep up during weekends... was this posted Sunday?

    Being that the 185D spur you're talking about is clear over on the other side of Aspen Ridge it isn't really in my domain. I tend to ride from my house. I do the trip up Aspen Ridge at least a couple times per year, and I like to do that Bassam Park-Aspen Ridge traverse. But I concede that I do not know about those routes. Do they come down into Ruby Mountain?

    I don't like seeing anybody's favorites made off-limits.

    That said, I would like to clarify what I said about Wilderness designation attracting people like birders: There are people who "shop" Wilderness Areas. New designations will be destinations that pop up onto peoples' radar screen. No, designating new Wilderness does not increase wildlife.

    And my point remains, there is a bill on the table to designate the Browns Wilderness. Other kinds of protection are projects that would need to be initiated, at least for this situation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    I didn't see the original post. I don't often keep up during weekends... was this posted Sunday?

    Do they come down into Ruby Mountain?

    Other kinds of protection are projects that would need to be initiated, at least for this situation.
    I think I posted it last Friday, but I don't remember...

    The routes do eventually end up either at Ruby Mountain or at the Arkansas River in the upper part of Browns Canyon, but it's not worth riding them down that low. The lower into the drainage you go the more the trails deteriorate. The best rides are loops that are in the 5-10 mile range and end up either back on the mesa at the head of Middle Cottonwood or coming back up into Bassam Park below Elk Mountain Ranch (these are mostly well buffed horse trails).

    The Colorado Roadless Rule has already been initiated, but is still a work in progress. The Wilderness Proposal definitely gets more attention, but I personally do not think it's the best option for the area.
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain

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    Great Hoax- it's a Land Grab, folks!

    Look up Map Showing Public Owned Lands in Colorado

    You can see from the map that west of the I-25 there is a severe shortage of private land. The checkerboard pattern in the eastern plains is the result of two sections of each township being designated "School Land", and said land was 'given' to the State Board of Land Commissioners. Most of the BLM and the School Land properties are leased for agriculture (cattle grazing). Approximately 450,000 acres of School Land is leased by the Colorado Division of Wildlife for seasonal hunting purposes.( Question: Since land-owners are paying for schools with their tax dollars...perhaps we need to see exactly where is the money from 'School Lands' actually going?)

    The Map [circa 1997 ] does NOT show county owned lands, nor any lands Preserved Lands under Conservation of any organization (government or otherwise), nor any lands controlled by the Department of Defense, which further add to the shortage.

    Many people in Colorado are unaware of the existence of 'School Lands'. State School Board Lands are lands that were granted by the Federal Government to Colorado at statehood, mainly to provide income to provide for and support public schools. Why are Colorado's property taxpayers providing and supporting these schools when the State has the means to do so? Where, exactly, are the monies from these leased lands going? Clearly, proof needs to be provided to the public showing that the revenue generated from School Lands has consistently been used to provide schools and support the schools. It is well known that the taxpayers have been paying that for many, many years, and perhaps this burden has been erroneously borne by the taxpayer instead having of the revenue generated from the School Lands used for its designated purpose. These lands are managed by the State Board of Land Commissioners through an agency known as the State Land Board. In addition to agricultural and hunting purposes, these Lands are leased for surface uses and mineral extraction, and the lessee has the right to deny access.

    The 'public' lands shown on the map are managed by several additional federal and state agencies and local governments. Unknown to many, USFS, for example, for many years has contracted out their duty of management of many areas to 'concessionaire' companies- privately owned companies who are supposed to maintain the areas for the USFS. Often this is not done in an appropriate nor responsible manner, and many visitors also are subject to vandalism and theft while visiting those areas, as well. When a governmental agency finds that these designated areas are not generating enough income, they are SOLD- often to FOREIGN interests. Forest Rangers have been forced into 'retirement' because they disagreed with this policy and attempted to alert the public of the practice.

    Fees are commonly now charged to enter our Parks (which was NOT the norm when these Parks were established- Our tax dollars already pay the USDA, of which the USFS is a part....One has to question why are we paying to access and use lands we own? They are, after all, OUR parks). Access is often denied or restricted, and people can go to jail over taking so much as a pinecone home as a momento. National Parks and Monuments and other governmentally managed lands now normally charge a fee for entry, additional fees for camping, permits, etc. In many places, people cannot even get close to what they'd like to see, as it is often fenced off. While camping and some forms of recreation may be encouraged in some specific areas (and those are rare), hunting and some other outdoor activities are strictly forbidden or restricted.

    One also has to pay attention to terminology. What was once termed Public Lands, changed to Federally Managed Lands, and is now called Federally owned lands.

    Out of the alleged 66+million acres, BLM claims that 2/3rds of Colorado is privately owned. The map clearly indicates otherwise, and that map is 15 years old! Then, of course, one has to account for another huge chunk removed from private use by public utilities and major corporations, and lands that are immersed in water. Only approximately 8 million acres of Colorado was cropland, according to federal sources for the same year as the map, and those have been dramatically reduced since then. Many privately owned farms were bought by developers who then built thousands of homes. A good portion of these homes now stand vacant due to foreclosures, and are subject to vandalism. As the banks went belly-up, the homes and many acres of real estate now is in the hands of the FDIC, who is auctioning them off. The main buyers are foreign interests.

    The BLM manages 8.4 million surface acres and the USFS manages 14.3 million acres in Colorado, and the Wilderness acreage is well above 3.5 million acres. These acres are controlled by agencies which impose 'authorized' uses. In addition, there are collectively millions more acreage that is controlled by counties and local governments.
    Legal access to federal land is provided by a system of public and agency roads and trails, with the exception of millions of roadless acres within Wilderness areas. Agency officials may restrict access or control the use of these roads and areas. Restrictions may be imposed without public input, consent, or knowledge.

    The other issue that seems to be ignored is the fact that the illegal immigrants are setting up 'hobo camps' within these protected areas, and doing a fine job of leaving all kinds of non-eco friendly debris for others to have to clean up after they've moved on. We, of course, are the ones bearing the clean-up expenses.

    Frequently, the special interest groups, lobbyists and politicians claim that by designating more areas as Wilderness, or National Monuments that there will be an positive economic benefit, and that it will offer more areas for tourists to visit. The truth is, that is rarely the case.

    Their well constructed pleas are deliberately designed to appeal to our emotions, claiming that we would be 'saving' something for our children and future generations. Lack of access and imposed fees and restrictions actually reduce areas open to the public. It has also been repeatedly documented that areas that hold these designations have actually suffered a reduction in jobs, as well as a marked decrease in revenues. Politicians and special interest groups would have us believe otherwise. With these lands being sold without our knowledge and consent, there is no guarantee that there will be anything left for future generations, either.

    Another thing the public is unaware of is that these 'public' lands might fall into the same control as many national monuments that are now controlled by the UN. This is, indeed, a truly dangerous situation. 68% of our national monuments are listed as World Heritage Sites, which is controlled by the UN. Although we applied for this status and it doesn’t give them ownership, it does give them regulatory control.

    The Feds they are using, in most cases, the Endangered Species act and other EPA acts to either retain or regain control of these lands. Also they use the Powers or the Endangered Species act to fulfill the required “Public Good” of eminent Domain.

    As a side note: It is part of a plan as outlined by the UN. See p11 on The Wildlands Project. This is a plan many years in the making.
    -Look up UNDERSTANDING-AGENDA21 That the UN would like to control the USA is of no news, They have been trying to get the US to sign on to Treaties that give them all kinds of control over us. Kayoto, Waterways, Intellectual Property (which they partially got with WTO and DMCA), and thousands of others.

    Removing MORE land from public access by designating it as National Monument and Wilderness is UN-NECESSARY!
    Much of the area of these lands are barely accessible due to terrain.

    If tourism was such a grand success, Colorado would easily be able to alleviate the debt we're in without reducing State workers pay, without increasing taxes at every turn, and without major cuts all over. Tourism is not just 'down' due to the economy of the country. Tourism has always been, and will always be a TEMPORARY and fluctuating source of revenue. Ask any artist who tries to rely on tourism. Ask any hotel owner. Ask any trinket shop that caters to tourism.

    To keep pushing for tourism is insane, especially in this economy when people are losing their homes, and jobs. Do you really think they can afford vacations?? NO. And if they can afford to vacation, how much extra money are they now willing to toss on casual incidental expenses or trinkets? They are more concerned with putting food on their own table.

    Tourism is a LOSING proposition- it only is a TEMPORARY means of income in the best of economies, and it is NEVER long lasting. We do NOT need tourism, and we've wasted more than enough money trying to push for more of it. Look around you! The economy has been collapsing everywhere, with NO sign of it getting better for many more years. And Colorado is running about three years behind the rest of the country.

    The first indications of failing economies is cars go up for sale; then businesses are closing and there are numerous storefronts to rent; then, the foreclosures start, and the businesses are going belly-up, even with the partnering of larger businesses in other states. Major job losses result with the downed businesses...people can't pay their bills. Increased uses of charities, food banks, and the like. Yet, the real estate industry keeps trying to tell us that we are recovering? Just because people bought in at high prices does not mean they won't be seriously losing money on their homes now- IF they even still have possession of them. We are just beginning to see what the rest of the country has been going through for the past few years.

    Colorado needs to be promoting a Business friendly environment, and encourage businesses that are self-reliant, businesses that offer basics- and STOP relying on tourism! Tourism is NOT 'sustainable', and the only jobs it provides are service-industry LOW paying jobs, most of which are 'seasonal' and/or temporary. Those jobs are the first to go in crushed economies. Colorado does NOT need this type of employment; Colorado needs to push for entrepreneur businesses, businesses that produce products we all need, and push for a very strong agricultural business base for ORGANICALLY grown and healthy foodstuffs.(NO Monsanto/Dow!!). If we want a healthy, productive populace here, we must be conscious of the foods we grow and eat. We want innovative, ethical businesses that provide goods people need -as opposed to goods that are simply ego-gratification worthless trinkets.

    If you really want to help Colorado and the people of Colorado, STOP this insanity, and LISTEN to what YOU really need and want!
    Get the ethical businesses that have left the US BACK to the US, and provide people jobs that pay WELL if you want a strong economy.

    NO MORE taking of lands and cutting them off from the taxpayers- which is what happens with ALL 'public' lands- they are hardly 'public', with all the restrictions and closures. NO. This is NOT a good idea at all. ENOUGH with the land grabs, which is exactly what this is, and it is poising as doing us a favor. NONE of this serves the people.
    And, by the way, the video our Senator is displaying is nothing but promotional hoopla- winter in Colorado does NOT have green summer trees- only evergreens in their dormant state. Who is he trying to fool? Also, according to all maps showing the 'public lands', CLEARLY the private land is no where near the 2/3rds you politicians keep tooting it as being. Once one factors in all the land the individual counties hold, on top of myriad State and Federal agencies, the people are lucky to have maybe 1/4 available for private land. Again, WHO are they trying to fool??

    We, the people of Colorado, deserve a reality check from our 'representatives'- They clearly are NOT serving the people.
    For ONCE, we MUST do what is BEST for the PEOPLE instead of the politicians, special interest groups, and con artists- It is time to DEMAND they do as we want and need instead of the opposite of what we want.

    Input from others:
    Over 15 percent of the Colorado mountains are currently managed as Wilderness but account for less than 4 percent of visits to the region.

    Most people will never set foot in a federally designated Wilderness area, as there is no access for most users of public lands. Mechanized travel is strictly forbidden in designated Wilderness areas, and until recently motor vehicles could not be used for emergency response in Wilderness.

    The closure of public lands to 96 percent of users has drastic economic impacts to communities

    A recent Utah State study found that counties with significant Wilderness designations average $1,446 less in per household income, $37,500 less in average payroll and generated $92,900 less in tax revenue than similarly located counties. The negative economic impacts of Wilderness restrictions caused the Utah Legislature to adopt a resolution requesting the federal government not to designate additional Wilderness due to the negative economic impacts. Wilderness limitations result in thousands of dollars in lost salary to families and tens of thousands in lost payroll and revenue for local communities to maintain roads and operate schools.

    The Forest Service recently reported to Senator Udall that designated Wilderness directly contributed to the mountain pine beetle epidemic and limited the response of the Forest Service to this threat. Now, there are thousands of acres ravished by the epidemic- thousands of acres of dead trees!

    Udall's proposal directly undermines the years of public involvement and meetings that occurred in the development of the Colorado Roadless Rule.

    Research indicates the number of people pursuing these activities has significantly declined since the early 1990s.

    There is simply no need for more Wilderness; the risk to Colorado communities is simply too great.
    ----------
    Closing such a large swarth of the state from economic activity will have dramatic negative effects on education funding, employment, local and state tax revenues, energy production and quality of life.
    ----------
    The Udall bill would devastate Colorado's local economy during the current economic recession and render impossible any long-term economic opportunities
    ---------
    Wilderness legislation has been introduced to each Congress due to the vigorous lobbying of well-funded special-interest groups and out-of-state supporters. Unfortunately, these groups and the bill's lead sponsor, Senator Udall, fail to acknowledge the harmful effects it will have on the residents of Colorado.
    The negative economic impacts will be immense, in mining, farming, energy development, ranching and private land ownershipdevelopment. Further, it represents a model of wilderness designation that engenders conflict, ignores local input and leads to gridlock. Simply put, this bill is a relic of a bygone era. It amplifies rather than alleviates public land disputes, ignores local input and leads to gridlock. Simply put, this bill is a relic of a bygone era. It amplifies rather than alleviates public land disputes.
    -------
    re: Hinkley's bill, which was very similar:
    It is important to note that this flawed and antiquated bill is not supported by a single federally elected official from Utah. This fact speaks volumes.
    --------
    From the cattlemen's viewpoint:
    National Monuments Background
    Currently, the Antiquities Act allows the President near-unchecked authority to designate new national monuments on federal lands. While meant to fend off potential destruction and theft of U.S. archeological landmarks, monument designations have been used indiscriminately, resulting in the severe restriction of multiple uses such as grazing. Additionally, they have had multiple adverse effects on adjacent private property.
    There are now 71 national monuments in 26 states, spanning roughly 136 million acres. In early 2010, a Department of Interior document was leaked, which included a list of 14 areas in the West for possible designation as National Monuments by President Obama. The proposed areas span about 13 million acres and include proposed purchase of a number of private land holdings (if land owner's disagree or refuse to submit to these plans, use of eminent domain would secure their properties!). The administration has refused to release all documents relating to the monument plans.
    through the purchase of adjacent private land. Those that oppose suffer the effects of eminent domain- either way, they lose their land.
    ----------
    First, any private land that’s so designated removes that land from the tax base – as much of southern Utah has already experienced. Which is one of the reasons many of the locals are opposed.

    Second, neither NP or Wilderness designation has become an invitation for greatly increased usage. I know – the environmental organizations don’t want to believe or acknowledge that, but as a backpacker with over 20,000 miles under my boots and having spent time (meaning having hiked ) in well over 100 of the National Parks in the system (including ALL of those in Utah), I’ve seen the effects up close and personal. It’s rarely a pretty sight. The human race loves to love things to death.

    And last, if the idea is to “protect” those places, then, at least initially, it will fail simply because “protection” requires money and manpower. Neither of which is likely to magically appear in the present financial climate. Nor in what I see as the probable future political climate (and that’s NOT related to the Democrat/Republican or liberal/conservative divide).

    This Land Grab is going on all over the United States. It is taking control away from the people.

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    I find it funny that a guy can walk into a Wilderness area in hunting season with a rifle (mechanical device) and kill these animals that we are so concerned about protecting, but I cannot ride my bike because it might scare the poor little animals. How is a fishing pole not a mechanical device? Double standard much? I'm not against hunting or fishing either, just wondering why they are allowed and bikes are not.

    Horses can trudge through mud and $hit all over the trail but my bike is the one that damages the trail?

    I am all for protecting wild areas. I have done a fair amount of reading and research about this topic and I am somewhat understanding of the plight of the Wilderness area folks. I want to protect the land too. I live a few hundred feet from one of the most beautiful Wilderness areas in the state and I love it, but I still want to ride my bike in it and feel that that can be done without harming the land, animals, or anything else.

    The argument that wilderness areas draw tourism money is hard for me to believe. I have hiked many days in many Wilderness areas and have rarely found them to be overrun with tourists outfitted in top dollar gear "birding" or doing anything else. I feel like this is just an angle that politicians use to gain supporters.

  25. #25
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
    Look up Map Showing Public Owned Lands in Colorado


    This Land Grab is going on all over the United States. It is taking control away from the people.
    Can you condense that down to two or three paragraphs?

    BTW: The park service is part of the dept of interior, not the dept of agriculture which is the FS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
    This Land Grab is going on all over the United States. It is taking control away from the people.
    +1 all of the above ^^^

    Most of the info you need on who owns what in CO and whether or not it has public access can be found here. I think these are the maps you are referring to.
    COMaP - Colorado Ownership Management and Protection

    It was the Morell Land Grant Acts in the late 1800's that established the State School Board Lands in every state throughout the US. Congress set aside public land to generate revenue for the state schools and establish state land grant universities where military, mechanical and agriculture would be taught. i.e. your A&M's, Tech's and State U's. One in each state.

    SLB land is leased for certain purposes like agriculture, grazing, mineral extraction and/or recreation/hunting/fishing. You bid on it. You and me.
    The lease money goes to the schools, plus they take a portion of the profits the lessee makes.

    Want to know why college tuition is cheap in Texas and kids from all over the US flock there to go to school. State School Board Land leased for oil/gas exploration. That's why.

    In Colorado Sections 16 and 36 in every Township/Range are State School Board Land. Each "section" is 1 square mile, or 640 acres. That's the checkerboard pattern you see on the map. There are 36 sections in a Township... 36 square miles = 23040 acres = 1/18 of each township or a little over 5% of all land in Colorado.

    Some larger properties exist also. VERY large ranches, that in some cases are off limits to the public, but are still public land.

    SLB land can be sold too. Like recently Section 16 in Manitou Springs was sold to Colo Spgs Trails & Open Space.

    Colorado has also recently created a State Conservation Lands Trust program using SLB land. lands meant for generating revenue to pay for schools have been placed into this SCLT "conservation" program and in essence closed off to public access or lease.

    Here in El Paso County and Pueblo County 2 very large tracts of SLB land were put into the SCLT program.

    Approximately 200,000 acres, or 312 square miles total IIRC on the border between Pueblo and El Paso County. I'm not sure of the specifics but somehow the Nature Conservancy (funded primarily by corporations) sub-leased the SLB land... which allows the original lessee to still farm/ranch Bohart Ranch Chico Basin Ranch but you or I will never have access to this publicly owned land for recreation/hunting/fishing.

    To top it off much of the private land on the Pueblo County line is now under conservation easement. Thousands of acres along the Fountain Creek - I-25 corridor is now off limits forever. (Actually more if you count the Ft. Carson buffer being purchased.) And all the water rights are tied up in the CE. So even if you buy it, you can't farm it. They took good farmland and made it worthless. We're only allowed to drive down I-25 and look at it.

    Hey, I believe in conservation too. But WTH am I watching? maybe you're right, it could be a giant land grab. Maybe someone doesn't want you or me to grow or raise our own food? or drill for oil? or hunt or fish? or even ride a bike. So gee... now who could that be?

  27. #27
    zrm
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    It's a vast anti fun conspiracy to keep you from using YOUR public land in whatever way you want.

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    I don't know... could it be

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    ... Maybe someone doesn't want you or me to grow or raise our own food? or drill for oil? or hunt or fish? or even ride a bike. So gee... now who could that be?
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Youtube
    I was thinking more of:


    Greenwash of the Week: The Nature Conservancy and Corporate Donors | Food Freedom

    Nature Conservancy Donors
    Monsanto
    Cargill
    Shell
    Chevron
    ConocoPhillips
    Altria
    Nestle

    Nature Conservancy Leadership Council
    Altria Group
    BP
    Cargill
    Chevron
    The Dow Chemical Company
    ExxonMobil Corporation
    Monsanto Company
    Nestlé Waters North America

    The Nature Conservancy also likes Conservation Easements. As long as they can carve out building sites and sell trophy home lots to their friends.
    Scenic treasure: How conservation lines the pockets of the rich | The Hook - Charlottesville's weekly newspaper, news magazine

    "The Nature Conservancy provided some lessons in abuse. The world's richest environmental group, the Conservancy had a habit of selling scenic properties to employees and trustees to build homes and harvest large tax breaks, as revealed in a 2003 investigation by the Washington Post."

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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    It's a vast anti fun conspiracy to keep you from using YOUR public land in whatever way you want.

    I know what my priorities are. Providing for my family and creating a future for my child. You imply that is wrong?

    SLB land was set aside to generate revenue for state schools. So it's not YOUR land either.

    It's a revenue source to provide opportunities for higher education to those who are less fortunate and cannot afford Ivy League or private schools.
    Whether that use be for public recreation/hunting/fishing, agriculture or oil/gas/mineral mining.

    Our school systems in CO are broke. Layoffs are happening. Facilities are falling apart.
    D-11 board works to shift cuts to save some positions | budget, district, board - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO

    And if you aren't careful, in addition to higher taxes, GOCO will be raided to pay for the shortfalls.
    Republican lawmaker wants to sweep GOCO funds and use money for schools | The Spot

    It's a choice. You can pay now by using the natural resources we have available, or pay later with the social costs a poorly educated public creates. I choose to pay now.

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