U.S. Representative Jared Polis


Continental Divide Wilderness and Recreation Act (H.R. 2554)

Each year, outdoor recreation generates $13.2 billion in consumer spending, supports 125,000 jobs, and brings in nearly a billion dollars in state and local tax revenues across Colorado. The outdoor industry is particularly important to the economic well-being of our mountain communities, where visitors from around the world come to enjoy world-class mountain biking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, snowshoeing, climbing, skiing, camping, and hunting.

The Continental Divide Wilderness and Recreation Act, which we introduced in May, would help support this important industry by preserving the open spaces it relies on. This bill was built in collaboration with hundreds of stakeholder groups and input from thousands of people over a five year period.

Specifically, our bill would:

  • Our bill would designate nearly 40,000 acres of Colorado’s most spectacular peaks and forests as wilderness, ensuring their health and preservation in perpetuity.
  • The bill would further designate over 15,000 acres of White River National Forest – one of the most popular National Forests in the country – as Recreation Management Areas.

o These ‘special management’ zones would allow the US Forest Service to protect the watershed, habitat, and ecological qualities of the area while still allowing for and enhancing recreational land use.

o Each area includes explicit protections for hunting, fishing, mountain biking, skiing, camping, climbing, horseback riding and snowshoeing.

  •  Our bill doesn’t close any motorized routes or access points currently open to the public, and makes boundary accommodations to meet the needs of all surrounding stakeholders – including the Colorado Department of Transportation, Xcel Energy, Climax Mines, Colorado Springs Water, Eagle River Water and Sanitation, Summit Fat Tire Society, and Vail Mountain Bike Association.

Endorsing Organizations: Eagle County, Summit County, Town of Vail, Town of Breckenridge, Colorado Springs Utilities, Vail Resorts, Xcel Energy, Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort, Colorado Backcountry Hunters and Fishermen, International Mountain Bicycling Association, Access Fund, Conservation Colorado, People for Bikes, Public Land Solutions, International Mountain Bicycling Association, Outdoor Industry Association, Wilderness Workshop, The Wilderness Society, Vet Voices, Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, Sierra Club,, Sierra Club – Rocky Mountain Chapter, The Wilderness Society, The Wilderness Society – Colorado Chapter, League of Conservation Voters, Pew Charitable Trusts, Alpine Accents, Frisco Liquors Inc., Summit Travel, Anew You , Moose, Jaw Restaurant, Frisco Wine Merchant, House of Signs, Inc., Deli Belly’s, Frisco Fun and Formal, Smokn’ Bra Little Beans Boutique, The Jumping Tree, Abbey’s Coffee, Art Supply Breck, Boutique Bling, Timeless Collections, b’s Modern Mountain Apothecary, Bella Design and Planning, Breckenridge Bead Gallery, Big City Blues Clothing, Flourish, Vertical Runner, Slopestyle, The Mountain Goat Clothing Company, Columbine Bakery, Haute Route Gear and Apparel, Skea Ltd., Bloomingvails, Gorsuch Ltd., Ptarmigan Sports, Crazy Mountain Brewery, Minick Construction, Vail Valley Anglers, Riverwalk Natural Health Clinic and Pharmacy, Mary Lynn Gillaspie Photography, Nina’s Flowers, Ville de Luxe Boutique, The Walnut Gallery, By Chance Shoppe, Gifts at Cooper’s Corner, Found Underground Consignments, Gifted Hands Gallery, Little Horse Books and Vintage, The Book Cellar, SoFlo Glass LLC., Faith Davis Massage and Yoga, Trident Booksellers and Café, Nomad Bead Merchants, Two Hands Paperie, Rocky Mountain Anglers, Bedell and Co., Colorado Ocean Coalition, Justins LLC., Ripstop Repairs, Spork and Ladle, LLC., Eco-Products, Powder7.com, Vision Ridge Partners, High Country Dogs


Stakeholder Letters
Several local stakeholders have issued positive letters in recognition of the Eagle and Summit County Recreation and Wilderness Preservation Act, including:

More Information on Wilderness

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Jennifer George-Nichol in the Washington Office or Nissa Erickson in the Frisco Office.

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