Vail Daily letter: Just saying no to wilderness |

Vail Daily letter: Just saying no to wilderness

Bob Utter
Vail, CO, Colorado

Why I don’t support the Hidden Gems or any new wilderness proposals:

From what I’ve gathered, the Wilderness Society’s mission is to acquire as much land as possible. I know they’ve “compromised” here and there (seemingly against their will), but they do not and will not stop trying to acquire more land. Ever.

I do not support these people on general principle. Their tactics are divisive and their scheme to lump bicycles in with motorized vehicles has resulted in bicyclists having to oppose land protection.

The wilderness designation is outdated and seems to feed only on the appetite (and budget) of those who gain strictly via new wilderness designations only. How about companion designations, or does that not justify Wilderness Society’s budget?

Down with wilderness, and yes to companion designations. For many people, coming to go mountain bicycling in the Colorado high country is a dream. By constantly diminishing opportunities for this activity, it is going to make the decision much easier for people to go elsewhere.

Finally, I am aware there are many, many established wilderness areas where people can go without bicycles already. So hikers-wilderness advocates, don’t act like you don’t already have a large chunk of lands (including much of the highest peaks and lands) that you already exclusively go to and have all to yourselves.

Bob Utter


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