Vail Daily letter: Wilderness legacy
Vail, CO, Colorado
I’m a mountain biker and love to ride. I also love wilderness and recognize that both help to make our mountain communities great. However, as our communities continue to grow, we are losing our wild regions, which is why I support congressman Polis’ Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act as is, including the Spraddle Creek and West Lake Creek areas.
I attended several meetings from the community organizers of this initiative and witnessed their willingness to continually adjust the proposal areas, including 700 acres in Spraddle Creek alone specifically for mountain bikers.
Vail has 150 miles on 88 trails exclusively for mountain biking within a 10-mile radius of town, and 2,000 miles in the White River National Forest. There are plenty of mountain biking opportunities, yet some would like to keep illegal trails in both Spraddle Creek and West Lake Creek out of congressman Polis’ act.
Spraddle Creek would be the only wilderness within walking distance of Vail Village. Why do we need to expand mountain biking trails into the last roadless wildland in the area?
If Spraddle Creek and West Lake Creek are included in congressman Polis’ Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act, it means they will receive the highest designation of land protection we have in the United Sates. Residents of Eagle and Summit counties will benefit from habitat that provides cleaner air and water, less congestion and still have these areas to hike, camp, hunt and fish.
The parts of our nation that have been preserved, including existing wilderness like Holy Cross and Eagle’s Nest, would not be here today if not for the forethought, dedication and bold leadership of just a generation ago.
As a resident of this community, I encourage you to place your name among those who have made Colorado the kind of place you are proud to call home. A region with ample opportunities for recreation and unspoiled escapes unlike any other on this earth preserved for you and those who do not have a voice: Future generations and the non-human inhabitants with whom we share this spectacular landscape.
I believe supporting inclusion of Spraddle and West Lake Creeks into Congressman Polis’ Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act will be a lasting legacy we will all be proud of.
Brian von Dedenroth