Grateful for Colorado Public Lands & the local GPLI

Dear Editor,

On August 1, 1876, Colorado was admitted as the 38th state in the nation.  Many come flocking to Colorado each season to experience the grandeur of the state’s great outdoors.  In Gunnison County we are surrounded by spectacular mountains, valleys, rivers and more; an impressive 80 percent of these lands are public.  As we celebrate Colorado Day this week, we also celebrate our incredible natural heritage and public lands.

Public lands in the west have a long and complicated history.  What’s not so complicated though is a common appreciation for what public lands bring to our quality of life, economy, and health of our air and water.  Expressing gratitude on this Colorado Day could not be more fitting. Gunnison County has a healthy balance of both a recreation and tourism economy complemented by a strong ranching community.  These industries depend on access to healthy public lands.

Thinking about the long-term vitality of public lands, the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative (GPLI) has been working collaboratively to develop a community vision for the future of public lands in  Gunnison County. The GPLI is a coalition of hunters, snowmobilers, conservationists, dirt bike riders, stockgrowers, fishermen, mountain bikers, and water interests. Over the past two years, through thoughtful conversations, careful listening, and research they have crafted a consensus proposal and a powerful coalition working to protect our public lands in Gunnison County.

Undoubtedly, things change over the years but having the forethought and proactiveness to ensure the viability of our invaluable public lands for the next generations will only prove to be beneficial.  

On this Colorado Day, take a moment to celebrate the incredible place we live and join us in telling Senator Bennet, Senator Gardner, and Representative Tipton that you support protecting public lands in Gunnison County by signing the public support letter at  

Peter Horgan

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From Crested Butte News