This is the seventh and final entry in a weekly series profiling the areas proposed by the Hidden Gems campaign for federal wilderness designation. The campaign, led by Carbondale’s Wilderness Workshop, calls for approximately 380,000 acres to be protected as wilderness. Most of the land is in the White River and Gunnison national forests, and includes areas in Pitkin, Gunnison, Eagle and Summit counties. An act of the U.S. Congress is required to designate new wilderness. The campaign has drawn criticism from some outdoor recreationalists, because all mechanized use and development is barred in federal wilderness.
PITKIN COUNTY REAL ESTATE – The proposed Hay Park and Crystal River areas would expand the designated wilderness on the flanks of Mount Sopris, extending it on the east to the banks of the Crystal River and on its northern flanks to include lower elevation areas like Thomas Lakes.If you’re interested in spotting Colorado’s iconic bighorn sheep, your best bet in the Roaring Fork Valley may be in the proposed Crystal River area. It encompasses roughly 10 square miles of U.S. Forest Service land along the river itself. The long, narrow and roadless corridor would be added to the existing Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.
By Andrew Travers, March 20,2010 Aspen Daily News