Hidden Gems focuses on Vail Valley water | VailDaily.com

Hidden Gems focuses on Vail Valley water

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

Special to the Vail DailyHikers cross Squaw Creek near Edwards in one of the areas proposed for wilderness protection

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – Residents can learn more about the “Hidden Gems” campaign to protect more wilderness around Colorado’s Vail Valley at a free Waterwise Wednesday session at 5 p.m. in the Avon Town Council Chambers Wednesday.

The Hidden Gems campaign, which leads free hikes of proposed wilderness areas in the region every weekend, is pushing to designate parts of Eagle County and the White River National Forest as federally protected wilderness.

“Waterwise Wednesday” is a project of the Eagle River Watershed Council, which works to protect the Eagle River and its tributaries.

Susie Kincade, of the Hidden Gems campaign, says the proposed wilderness expansion would protect 14 watersheds, five rivers and 105 named creeks. The expansion also would protect important wildlife habitat, ensure air quality and preserve scenery that plays an important role in the local tourism industry.

The Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal is led by local citizens and outdoor enthusiasts in collaboration with Wilderness Workshop, Colorado Mountain Club, Colorado Environmental Coalition and The Wilderness Society.

As the campaign gains momentum this summer, free hikes are being offered every weekend to the various wilderness proposal areas. The next hike in Eagle County will be Saturday to the Lower Piney River area. It is being sponsored by the Gore Range Group of the Colorado Mountain Club.

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Register for this and other hikes at http://www.whiteriverwild.org.

For more information, contact Kincade at 970-328-5472 or susiek@whiteriverwild.org.