Wilderness

The Wilderness Land Trust grew from the small town of Aspen to the Western United States. In its 25-year history, the organization has turned thousands of acres of private inholdings into designated wilderness.  Executive Director Reid Haughey shares some of the organization's recent projects in California and their goals for the next 25 years. 

Learn more about The Wilderness Land Trust at www.wildernesslandtrust.org

Jean Hocker has an extensive history in land conservation. She's the Chairman of the board of The Wilderness Land Trust and discusses the organization's current project of cleaning up The Painter Mine on Idaho's Salmon River. Hocker also shares the organization's challenges and goals. 

Twenty-five years ago, Jon Mulford, a lawyer from Aspen, was driven to start The Wilderness Land Trust after the purchase of a large private inholding, which the buyer intended to develop. The organization buys inholdings and sells the purchased land to the U.S. Government to be protected as wilderness. Since its founding in 1992, the organization has expanded from the Roaring Fork Valley to seven states in the Western U.S. 

Mulford discusses the history and progression of the organization. 

High Country News

The changes the White River National Forest is considering to minimize crowds in wilderness areas have been successful in other forests. Last week, Forest Service officials began an informal outreach effort around how to bring back solitude to busy trails and backcountry camping. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, their ideas have been tried in other wilderness areas.

Aspen Sopris District Ranger Karen Schroyer is delivering a presentation to a packed house in Aspen. She’s working to educate people about problems in the forest and solicit feedback.

Marci Krivonen

The U.S. Wilderness Act turns 50 this year and one challenge facing these lands today is the number of private inholdings inside them. Within the nationwide Wilderness System, about 180,000 acres are privately owned. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Reid Haughey, President of the Wilderness Land Trust, which started in Aspen in 1992.

Reid Haughey is director of the Wilderness Land Trust, a Carbondale-based organization that aims to add private inholdings to the nation’s wilderness system. 

Valley Roundup - July 18th, 2014

Jul 18, 2014

Welcome to Valley Roundup.  It’s a review of the top news stories of the week in Aspen and beyond.

Joining us today are Andy Stone, former editor of and now columnist for the Aspen Times and Curtis Wackerle, Managing Editor of the Aspen Daily News.

This week there was a double-homicide in El Jebel.  The same week a pedestrian was hit and killed on highway 82, this comes on the heels of a high profile murder in Aspen and the death of a rafter.  Today we reflect on how big city this all sounds.

Also, are we loving the outdoors to death?  Judging for the Conundrum Hot Springs…maybe so.

Proposals are lining up for what to do with the old Aspen Art Museum, we look at the Lodging incentive program and the strange partnership of Lee Mulcahy and Maurice Emmer.

On the download with Rob St. Mary a how-to for safe sexting.  It’s all ahead on Valley Roundup.

Adam McCabe is a decorated former Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. McCabe is also an active Huts for Vets board member and teaches other returning veterans Tension Releasing Exercises (TRE), which are proven to help better manage symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He shares about his story, and the importance of Huts for Vets programs. Paul Anderson is the Executive Director of Huts for Vets and shares about the need for programs like Huts for Vets. Retired Lieutenant Colonel Janice Nark is a Huts for Vets board member.

High Country News/hcn.org

White River National Forest officials are concerned about overuse at Conundrum Hot Springs, outside Aspen. Forest Service staffers recently pulled more than 35 pounds of trash from the popular recreation area and the number of visitors continues to grow.

Visitors hike from Aspen and Crested Butte to reach the hot springs in the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness. The area sees more than 3000 people each summer. Martha Moran with the Forest Service says the numbers are impacting the area’s Wilderness character.

A key rationale for conservation is protecting wildlife from the impacts of people. Some of those impacts are obvious, like cutting down trees or building a parking lot over a wetland. Some though are harder to understand or see, literally. A recent study from Boise State University caught my attention. In it researchers created a phantom ‘road’ along a mountainside in Idaho by attaching speakers to trees and playing the sounds of a hi-way into an otherwise pristine forest. 

Congressional Office of Diana DeGette

Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette is again trying to expand wilderness in the state. The Democrat, whose district largely includes Denver, hopes to preserve more than thirty places around Colorado including land in Eagle County. DeGette announced her proposal legislation Monday, June 24th.  She has introduced similar versions for more than a decade.