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Udall Reintroduces San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act to Preserve Job-Creating Public Lands in Southwest Colorado

Legislation Preserves Existing Uses While Ensuring 61,000 Acres Are Protected for Future Generations

Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mark Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, reintroduced the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act today to ensure that more than 61,000 acres of critical public lands in San Miguel, Ouray and San Juan counties will continue to support job creation and Colorado's outdoor recreation economy.

"Colorado's scenic mountains and open spaces create jobs and form the very foundation of our thriving outdoor recreation economy.  We need to support these job creators by protecting and preserving the public lands that are critical to their businesses and our quality of life in Colorado," Udall said.  "That's why I am standing with the residents of San Miguel, Ouray and San Juan counties to reintroduce the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act.  This legislation is an example of how wilderness should be done — from the bottom up and with the support of local businesses, leaders and residents."

Udall's proposal, which has the support of local leaders, businesses and sportsmen, does not affect any currently allowed uses on affected lands, including legal motorized or mechanized access and heli-skiing on Sheep Mountain.

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) is an original co-sponsor of the legislation.

Click HERE to see maps associated with this proposal and HERE to see the legislation itself.

"Coloradans understand that we don't inherit the earth from our parents — we borrow it from our children," Udall added.  "We need to do everything we can now to protect and preserve our public lands.  Passing the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act will ensure that the pristine peaks and valleys of the San Juan mountains remain special places and part of the fabric of Colorado."

Udall has been a vocal advocate for the role Colorado's public lands and open spaces play in creating jobs and supporting the state's outdoor recreation industry.

By: Mike Saccone, 202-224-4334
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