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Udall Welcomes Sportsmen's Support for San Juan Wilderness Bill

Hunters and Anglers Back Protections that Lead to Bigger, Better Game

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Today, Mark Udall thanked groups representing hunters and anglers who have voiced their support for his San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act.  Colorado-based Bull Moose Sportsmen's Alliance, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, and Trout Unlimited endorsed the proposal because it would expand wilderness and enhance conservation of wildlife habitat in southwestern Colorado.  The announcement comes on the heels of vocal support from local landowners and community leaders in Ouray, San Miguel and San Juan counties, as well as an announcement last week that more than 90 business owners and residents in the area backed the proposal.  Read the letters of support HERE.

Backcountry wilderness is beneficial for hunters and anglers for obvious reasons – cleaner water and undisturbed wildlife corridors make for more robust game.  In Colorado, hunting and angling generates over $2.1 billion a year and supports 20,000 jobs, especially in rural communities.  By helping to conserve natural resources, Udall's bill will reinforce Colorado's position as a top destination for sportsmen and women from around the world.  The legislation will strengthen the rural communities where recreational sports, such as hunting and angling, sustain the economy.

"The sportsmen and sportswomen who recreate on our public lands are some of our greatest conservationists, and I'm glad to hear their support for protecting those resources and its wildlife habitat," Udall said.  "The San Juans have been blessed with some of the best game anywhere—let's keep it wild.  It will keep our Western sporting tradition alive, draw visitors to this beautiful area and vitalize the local communities." 

"Our members stand shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of other hunters and anglers from Colorado and across the country who also support the bill," wrote Stephen Kandell and David Nickum of Trout Unlimited.  "When passed, the measure will safeguard over 60,000 acres of the best fish and wildlife habitat found in Colorado, and with it, countless opportunities for sportsmen and women to hunt, fish and provide sustainable economic benefits to the communities in the region."

"Bull Moose Sportsmen commend Senator Udall for his leadership of the hook and bullet community.  Colorado’s backcountry wilderness is a boon for hunters and anglers, in fact the 15 most popular game management units in the state are roughly 50 percent roadless and/or wilderness," said Gaspar Perricone, co-director of the Bull Moose Sportsmen's Alliance.  "This Act will help ensure that our outdoor heritage will be enjoyed by the next generation of sportsmen."

Udall reintroduced the bill in late September.  He has also opened a comment form on his website for Coloradans to share their input or ask questions about the proposal, which has received more than 700 responses. 
By: Tara Trujillo 202-224-4334
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