Colorado

Jun 11, 2010 9:18 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Colorado senate candidate blasts wilderness plans

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton says she would oppose federal wilderness bills she calls "land grabs," including one backed by Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette and the proposed Hidden Gems plan.

Norton said in a speech Thursday to Colorado Ski Country, a trade group, that proposals by DeGette and Democratic Rep. Jared Polis would threaten private property rights and access to recreation on public land. Norton says when support for federal wilderness areas comes from the bottom up, they benefit everyone.

Last year, DeGette proposed declaring 850,000 acres in Colorado as federal wilderness. The Hidden Gems proposal would designate about 625 square miles in central Colorado as federal wilderness.

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