Wilderness Campaign threatens 379,000 acres

Within the next few weeks a group will present U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) with the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign, which would designate 379,000 acres of public land in Colorado as federal wilderness.

These new designations would be in addition to 3.5 million acres already protected as wilderness in Colorado, according to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA).

Because Polis is expected to introduce related legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, the AMA is asking all motorcyclists and off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts to protest this latest effort.

“The AMA has formally objected to the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign, citing the inappropriate nature of the affected lands,” AMA Vice President for Government Relations Ed Moreland said in the press release. “In addition to the AMA, the Basalt Fire District opposes the measure, contending that the designation would thwart efforts to fight fires.

“With 3.5 million acres of existing wilderness, Colorado is already one of the most federally protected states in the nation, and it also is home to many of this country’s OHV enthusiasts,” Moreland continued. “We need to keep OHV routes and legal trails in the state open, so this and future generations can continue to experience the sweeping vistas and rugged terrain that the state has to offer.”

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