Push to for new Colorado wildernesses amid population surge

Push to for new Colorado wildernesses amid population surge
Posted at 12:28 PM, Apr 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-23 14:28:58-04

DENVER (AP) — Some western Colorado residents continue to push Congress to designate new wilderness areas, citing their benefit to recreation and tourism.

Southwest Colorado residents seek to protect a large swath of the San Juan Mountains. Others seek new wilderness designations in Summit, Eagle and Gunnison counties.

The Denver Post reports population growth and development are propelling efforts to get wilderness protection while still possible.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say large majorities of Coloradoans surveyed consider wilderness or undeveloped lands to be important. Polls find even stronger support for protecting more land as wilderness.

Colorado ranks sixth among states for its amount of federally designated wilderness areas but has had few new designations recently. The state's population is meanwhile growing at nearly twice the national rate.

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