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Groups Predict 2008 Will be "More Wild" for CO than 2007

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 By Eric Mack/John Robinson, Public News Service - CO, Contact
December 31, 2007

Denver, CO - Wilderness advocates are hoping the spirit of tonight's 'wild' New Year's Eve celebrations will carry over into 2008. Suzanne Jones, of The Wilderness Society in Denver, says 2007 has seen a resurgence of the movement to protect at least some of Colorado's wild treasures.

"In Colorado we saw introduction of revised, bipartisan legislation to protect the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park as wilderness. But despite the fact that congressional hearings were held, we were unable to get any of these bills across the finish line."

Despite this, Jones believes the timing is perfect for Colorado to keep the momentum going in the coming year.

"We're seeing unprecedented oil and gas leasing and development happening across Colorado, and what we don't protect as wilderness may very well be developed in the next decade."

Jones specifically hopes to see legislation in 2008 to protect Dominguez Canyon near Grand Junction and Brown's Canyon near Salida. Governor Ritter is also negotiating a compromise for the Roan Plateau that attempts to strike a balance between protecting wilderness and oil and gas development.

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