September 3, 2015
From the Gunnison Country Times
Mendicant Ridge Trip Cements Support
On August 23rd, we had the opportunity to explore on horseback a remote, infrequently visited region of the Gunnison National Forest, west of the West Elk Wilderness. We started at Bald Mountain Reservoir, climbed its namesake peak, and then rode along Mendicant Ridge.
Mendicant Ridge has been proposed as part of the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative’s extension to the West Elk Wilderness. We’ve been hiking and hunting in the area for over a decade and wish to see this kind of backcountry experience available to all of us and our heirs, in perpetuity.
GPLI’s proposal would ensure that the scenic, recreational and ecological integrity of this area remains intact. We would like to express our gratitude to Hilary Henry of the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative for organizing the event and advocating for these areas and Tony Prendergast of Landsend Outfitters for leading us up and down the steep slopes and sharing his wealth of knowledge of the region.
These folks are working so hard to protect our public lands, not from us but for us, while ensuring that all user groups are accommodated. What a unique experience exploring a proposed wilderness area on horseback! We urge you to support the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative, explore the public lands proposed for additional protection in their proposal and encourage our representatives to endorse this plan.
Tyler and Caroline Morrison