Patrick McKay wrote a letter critical of Sen. Michael Bennet’s proposed Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy act (“This lands act is a disingenuous grab,” March 11).
As a resident of the San Juans, I know that the act in no way will affect our high alpine jeep roads. Because no existing summer motorized or mechanized uses would be impacted, Imogene Pass, Ophir Pass and motorized access to Yankee Boy Basin would be totally unaffected.
I encourage residents in Eagle and Summit counties to speak out about their access as well folks who live in San Miguel County and on the slopes of Sheep Mountain, who know firsthand that snowmobiles are free to enjoy extensive areas and that the what is really being discussed here are the high peaks and rugged terrain inside the Sheep Mountain Special Management Area as a whole. If you have climbed or hiked there, you know that beyond a handful of Forest Service trails, extensive back country and mountaineering skills are required to navigate nearly all of the proposed terrain. Any idea of motorized ground access is entirely beyond reason and would be wholly inappropriate even if it were possible.
I encourage people to look at the specific maps online such as the one at www.sanjuanwilderness.org and educate themselves so we don’t let the larger political interests in the Front Range damage our local quality of life and ability to recreate into the future.