State

Jun 16, 2010 6:39 PM by Greg Boyce

Colorado congressman works toward another wilderness area in Colorado

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis is weighing environmental concerns against access for hunters as he works on a measure to designate more than 340,000 acres of Colorado land as
wilderness.

The freshman Democrat says he hasn't found a balance yet for the Hidden Gems Wilderness proposal, but he says he's not giving up. The bill would designate lands in Eagle and Summit counties as protected by the Wilderness Act, which bars new mineral development, logging, ATVs and mountain bikes.  At a recent Polis forum in Edwards, some worried such a move would limit hunters from easy access. Some municipalities oppose the designation because of its restrictions on fire mitigation.

Many environmentalists, however, say a Hidden Gems Wilderness will protect precious habitat, including Red Table Mountain, which serves as important habitat for big game.

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