Lately I have been seeing articles and editorials advocating for Sen. Michael Bennet’s Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy act, based on the fiction that there is a consensus of stakeholders in favor of this bill.
There is no such consensus. It will be devastating to snowmobilers, dirt bikers, jeepers, and mountain bikers, who will all lose access to existing recreational opportunities. Almost every area of proposed wilderness under the CORE act is either open to motorized use or is considered a motorized expansion area under current Forest Service travel planning.
Snowmobiles would lose out the most, as vast areas of land that are currently open to them would be closed. In one callous corporate land grab, the Sheep Mountain area near Silverton would be closed to snowmobiling and mountain biking but would remain open to a private heliskiing operation.
The bill also closes several important networks of full-size jeep trails and single-track mountain and motor bike trails, including the Spraddle Creek and Tenderfoot Mountain trail systems near Vail and Dillon. It threatens several nationally recognized jeep trails, including Imogene Pass in Ouray and Holy Cross City near Leadville, by putting wilderness boundaries right at the edges of those trails.
While others have called on Sen. Cory Gardner to get onboard and support this, I applaud him and Congressman Scott Tipton for seeing through the lies and continuing to oppose this bill.