The Campaign for America's Wilderness at the Pew Environment Group is teaming up with Wilderness Workshop to kick off a print and online ad campaign featuring Coloradans from various backgrounds—a small business owner, a teacher and an interior designer—who share a love of the state's wild places and a desire to see Colorado's Hidden Gems protected for future generations.
The three community members are among many supporters of an effort to protect 243,000 acres of pristine wild lands on the White River National Forest and surrounding Bureau of Land Management areas in Summit and Eagle Counties.
“Our wildlife, clean water and spectacular landscapes help my business thrive and keep my loved ones and our community healthy,” says Dave Gorsuch, owner of alpine sports and clothing store Gorsuch Ltd., in Vail. “If we want to protect our economic future, we must maintain the beauty, clean air, forests and wildlife habitat we have left. Our health and that of future generations depends on us taking care of what we have.”
Eagle County high school teacher Kelly Christensen says in her ad, “Growing up in the Vail Valley, I took for granted my natural surroundings. There are a lot more people in this valley than when I was young, and as the population grows, it puts pressure on natural places. I want to be sure that there will always be a variety of natural places that are protected for quiet recreation.”
More than 3,000 area residents have signed a letter backing the wilderness proposal, as have local businesses and organizations, including Alpine River Outfitters, Backcountry Brewery, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Blue River Anglers, Eagle Valley Land Trust, Glenn Randall Photography, High Country Citizen's Alliance, Realtors for Wilderness, Roaring Fork Valley Horse Council, Summit Travel, and the towns of Breckenridge and Crested Butte.
“We Coloradans are fortunate to live what many consider a dream,” says Cassidy Brush, a Dillon-based interior designer. “Hidden Gems is our opportunity to secure the highest protection available for our best wild lands before they quietly slip away acre by acre.”
The Common Ground ads will run over the next several weeks in print and online editions of newspapers in Boulder, Vail, Aspen, Glenwood Springs and Eagle County.