EAGLE POST - The newsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas. 
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Greetings!  ... before we get to the essay: FENW invites you to join us for a drink, to get to know your Board members, and to learn how you can help contribute to a great organization! Thursday, February 8th, 5:30-7:30-ish pm. Ollies Pub & Grub on Main Street in Frisco (MAP WEBSITE) Open to: Board members, friends, family, and anyone interested in local public lands and Wilderness issues.

And now...
February 2018One-hundred thousand acres for  of Summit and Eagle Counties - a potpourri Bill for wilderness, recreation, and Camp Hale legacy.
INTRODUCTION:  An exciting, multifaceted bill to enhance outdoor recreational activities on public lands in Eagle and Summit Counties is now before the U.S. Congress. Vail's Susie Kincade has worked diligently on the project for a decade, and writes about the bill for us below. Two important take-home messages: First, the bill does not deny any activity currently allowed, but in fact enhances opportunities (and thus, the International Mountain Biking Association has signed on). Second, passage of the bill will benefit greatly if we can garner the support of Colorado Senator Cory Gardner (read how you can help).

New Wilderness Bill Protects
the Continental Divide

by Susie Kincade

Senator Michael Bennet and Representative Jared Polis took advantage of the recent Outdoor Retail and Snow Show in Denver to announce the introduction of the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness, and Camp Hale Legacy Act (CDRWCHLA).

The legislation would preserve 98,421 acres of the White River National Forest in Summit and Eagle counties as wilderness, recreation management areas, and wildlife conservation areas. It also would designate Camp Hale as America’s first National Historic Landscape.  The act adds territory to all three Wilderness Areas that FENW supports with its work.

For nearly a decade, a diverse and large coalition of local stakeholders, led by The Wilderness Society, Conservation Colorado, and Wilderness Workshop has been working to conserve the public lands in the Continental Divide region of central Colorado. The International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA), Vet Voice and Sierra Club have joined the efforts in recent years.

After many community gatherings, meetings with elected officials, and several draft proposals, the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness, and Camp Hale Legacy Act reflects the collective interests of many different constituencies ranging from mountain bikers and veterans to small business owners and water users.  This act is supported by the Eagle and Summit County Commissioners, and the towns of Dillon, Breckenridge and Vail.

One example of collaborative effort is the Tenmile area.  Originally the Tenmile Wilderness contained more acreage but would have eliminated popular mountain bike trails.  The Wilderness acreage was decreased, and the Tenmile North and South Recreation Management Areas were created. These RMAs will provide many of the same protections as Wilderness (no commercial logging, no mining), but mountain bikers will continue to enjoy their current trails.  An addition to the Eagles Nest Wilderness was eliminated from the original proposal because it was a popular snowmobile area.

The legislation creates three new wilderness areas: Hoosier Pass, Tenmile, and Williams Fork, and adds to Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas.  It establishes the unique, 17,000-acre Recreation Management Area in Summit County to protect mountain biking, hiking, and hunting access between the towns of Breckenridge and Frisco.
Protecting these lands and watersheds will safeguard ecologically important, mid- and high-elevation areas that provide vital wildlife habitat for black bear, elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, sage grouse, moose, lynx, wild turkey, and the rare wolverine. Specifically, the legislation will create two wildlife conservation areas, nearly 12,000 acres, to protect critical wildlife linkages and habitat near Loveland Pass and in the Williams Fork Mountains.

“Colorado’s high country attracts hunters and anglers from around the world who seek its solitude and backcountry. In addition to these public lands and waters which support robust populations of fish and wildlife, this legislation sustains our time-tested traditions of hunting and fishing for current and future generations,” added David Lien, Colorado Chapter Chair of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.    

A version of the legislation was first introduced by Representative Jared Polis in 2014 but did not include protections for Camp Hale. Home of the WWII-era training camp of the storied 10th Mountain Division, the 29,000-acre Camp Hale National Historic Landscape would preserve a slice of history from the Greatest Generation.  Ski troopers learned the unique skills necessary for winter warfare, and many returned and played key roles in building Colorado’s outdoor ski industry.

 “Designating Camp Hale will pay homage to our veterans and the birth of our state’s booming outdoor industry,” said Bradley Noone, a U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division Veteran. “I want to thank Representative Polis and Senator Bennet for honoring World War II Veterans, small business owners, and the lands that we all enjoy. This legislation will benefit all Americans.”

The Continental Divide coalition is urging Senator Cory Gardner to co-sponsor the legislation and is hopeful that Congress follows Congressman Polis and Senator Bennet’s lead and passes this bipartisan and sensible legislation.

How to help:
1. Sign a postcard or the supporter list at Continental Divide 
2. Sign on as a Business Supporter at Continental Divide
3. Thank Congressman Polis by phone: (303) 484-9596 or email 
4. Thank Senator Bennet by phone: 303-455-7600 or email
5. Ask Sen. Gardner to become a supporter and co-sponsor: Call (303- 391-5777) or email.
6. Send a letter to your local newspapers. Write up to 300 words, make it personal, describe what you value about these mountains, include a strong voice for supporting this Act, and urge Senator Gardner to support it as well. 


Make a donation to FENW 
Make a difference!

Volunteer for our 2018 Trail projects: Details TBA. Learn about our work here. 
Become a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger in 2018. Details
In 2017, more than 50 VWRs directly contacted more than 11,000 hikers. Greet & teach!
We also need volunteers 
outside the Wilderness. If you're a writer, social media advisor, website manager, marketer, event planner, meeter/greeter, we need you! Email us.

We've changed our monthly planning meetings to the SECOND THURSDAY of the month. Join us for our next. regular meeting on Thursday, March 8, 5:30 PM at the USFS offices in Minturn and Silverthorne (video link)  MAP
Details at www.fenw.org/

Check out our previous NEWSLETTERS 

Please register your City Market Value Card, linking it to FENW, which will send rebates to FENW without compromising your earned fuel points. Please note that each card holder may only sign up for one tax exempt organization. THANKS!


Susie has been a volunteer environmental activist most of her life, helping to establish the first recycling center in Vail, CO, in 1985 and helping lead a successful 30-year citizens’ effort to stop a massive Adams Rib ski resort in Eagle, CO. She joined Wilderness Workshop in 2009 as the Eagle County grassroots coordinator for wilderness protection efforts.

About  this bill, Susie said, “We are grateful to FENW and the many other organizations, businesses, and individuals who signed on as supporters of our citizens’ effort." She added, "We need to keep up the momentum and get this over the finish line. That means more citizen and business involvement; calling and writing Letters to the Editor urging Senator Gardner to get on board. Together we can get this Bill passed!"

Susie lives in Eagle and is a certified nature-based personal coach and retreat leader. In 2009, she founded the Women's Empowerment Workshop, which empowers women & girls through nature-based retreats, coaching and workshops. Nature-based events and expert-guided explorations are intended to rejuvenate, revitalize and renew personal awareness, resilience and confidence.
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