June 17 2010, 10:52 AM
Congressman Jared Polis issued a statement yesterday in response to an Associated Press story that gives the impression Polis had made a decision about the Hidden Gems Wilderness proposal. "The article implied that I have made the decision to not move forward, when in fact I am actively working to see where consensus exists---these things take time," states Polis, a Boulder Democrat. According to a corrected version of the AP story, Polis is optimistic that consensus can be reached among groups hoping to designate more than 340,000 acres of Colorado land as wilderness. The proposal has been under consideration for about a decade. It would protect lands in Eagle and Summit counties under the Wilderness Act of 1964, allowing non-motorized recreation, livestock grazing, and scientific research, while banning commercial and mineral development, logging, ATVs, and mountain bikes. The idea is contentious, as the Colorado Springs Gazette points out in an in-depth report on the stiff opposition, including from Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton.