Wilderness Act

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

The Wilderness Act turns 50 this year and we’re devoting this entire show to the topic.

First, we’ll look back on how the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness became protected. A group of local women had a hand in it.

The wilderness in our backyard is one of the busiest in the state. The Forest Service says some areas are being loved to death.

Another problem facing wilderness is private land smack-dab in the middle of these peaceful places. One local group is working to make wilderness more wild.

And, a group of local organizations is throwing a birthday bash for the Maroon Bells this weekend. We have the details.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition.

United States Forest Service

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and the challenges facing wild places today are different than they were in 1964. Some say it’s increasingly difficult to keep these areas wild and to get protection for new wilderness. The White River National Forest manages eight wilderness areas, including the popular Maroon Bells/Snowmass region near Aspen. In part two of our series, Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen examines the challenges facing the wilderness in our backyard.

Meredith Ogilby/Wilderness Workshop

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and, in special series, we're focusing on one protected area in our backyard, the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.

It took the work of three tireless women to expand protection in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness near Aspen. In 1964, just the high mountain peaks became wilderness. So, the women, called the “Maroon Belles,” worked to more than double the size of the preserved area. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen tells their story.