Environmental groups back Eagle-Summit wilderness proposal | VailDaily.com

Environmental groups back Eagle-Summit wilderness proposal

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – Four Colorado environmental groups Thursday urged support for U.S. Rep. Jared Polis’ proposal to protect 170,000 acres of public lands in Eagle and Summit counties.

“Congressman Polis has worked hard to gather citizen input and craft a wilderness proposal,” said Steve Smith, assistant director of The Wilderness Society in Colorado “He deserves credit for his willingness to take the desires of his constituents into account and create a proposal that is ready to be moved through Congress.”

The Wilderness Society, Golden-based Colorado Mountain Club, Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop and the Colorado Environmental Coalition, based in Denver, backed the proposal.

Polis has released draft legislation, the Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act, which would result in additions to the Eagles Nest, Ptarmigan and Holy Cross Wilderness Areas in Eagle and Summit counties. When passed, it will also protect a number of new standalone areas either with wilderness designation or, in the cases where military helicopter training occurs, special management status.

The proposal would add protections for Castle Peak north of Eagle, Red Table between Gypsum and the Fryingpan River and Spraddle Creek outside Vail.

Congressman Polis’ draft of the Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act will be reviewed further by the state’s congressional delegation when Congress returns from its summer recess in September.