Protect the Backcountry

Protect the Backcountry

We appreciate that GPLI is taking a creative and practical approach to identifying specific areas for SMAs and Wilderness. By using both SMA and Wilderness designations, GPLI’s proposal will protect important backcountry areas while allowing highly valued activities like hiking, hunting, fishing, livestock grazing, mountain biking, backcountry skiing and motorized touring to continue. 

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Mendicant Ridge Trip Cements Support

Mendicant Ridge Trip Cements Support

 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.

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Introducing the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative

Introducing the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative

In Gunnison County, several entities exist to help protect public lands from development for several reasons. Most reasons include managing development and/or recreation, or striking a balance between the two. Gunnison Public Lands Initiative (GPLI) is one of those entities, and although only three years old, it is bringing different organizations and stakeholders together at the same table to develop a creative land use plan that it hopes the entire community will support.

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DeGette Proposes New Lands Under Protection

DeGette Proposes New Lands Under Protection

Other congressional bills that aim to protect wilderness areas currently exist, and smaller initiatives abound — some that even overlap with DeGette’s bill.

Gunnison Public Lands Initiative (GPLI) also has looked at areas adjacent to the West Elk and Powderhorn Wilderness areas and determined that they are worthy of preservation, yet their initiative is locally-driven and more comprehensive for Gunnison County.

“We have, I think, a much broader vision for what Gunnison County could look like for public land protection,” said GPLI coordinator Hilary Henry.

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Protect the backyard

Protect the backyard

I’d like to take this opportunity to shed some additional light on the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative (GPLI) as I believe the overall concept greatly supports the primary reason many of us choose to live in Gunnison County — our backyard. The views we have from the top of our peaks, our rivers and streams full of trout, our expansive system of trails, and the nearly unlimited opportunities to get into the backcountry.

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GPLI: Our opportunity to speak up for the future of our public lands

GPLI: Our opportunity to speak up for the future of our public lands

This spring, I was fortunate take over coordinating the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative from my predecessor, Laura Yale. GPLI is a coalition of groups in the Gunnison Valley working with Colorado Senator Michael Bennet to protect our public lands. I am honored to be a community resource for a project that has such an incredible potential to shape the future of Gunnison County.

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