The Mountain Mail
Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 9:10 am
Reader responds to Kerrison letter
In response to Leland Kerrison’s letter April 17 regarding his opposition to the monument/wilderness proposal for Browns Canyon
He states that he doesn’t believe the area should be considered for a wilderness because there are old roads and, as he states, “a railroad that has been there since at least 1880.”
The railroad bed no longer exists, as it was flooded and destroyed in 1901 and never rebuilt.
He also states that many older folks remember using roads in the area to access fishing and hunting.
There really aren’t any roads that lead through the proposed area to the Arkansas for fishing, and most of the roads for hunting are in the Fourmile management area north or east of the proposed wilderness.
There are a few old roads that are no longer passable and one road that leads down from Turret into the proposed wilderness area for three miles until it dead-ends.
The existence of roads in a proposed wilderness area does not exclude it from becoming a wilderness. There are several areas in Colorado that I used to be able to drive to that are now closed due to wilderness designation.
What Mr. Kerrison needs to realize is just because an area has been used a certain way by people in the past doesn’t mean it can never change. One of the worst reasons for continuing to do things the same is because that’s the way it’s always been done.
I do not want to come across as unsympathetic to those who can no longer hike into remote areas; it’s just that there are an overwhelming number of areas that can be driven by those who need motorized transportation.
The Fourmile Management Area alone consists of 100,000 acres of off-highway-vehicle accessible area, and it’s only one of many areas allowing motorized vehicles.
I am a horseback rider and enjoy having places I can go without the noise and disruption of motorized vehicles. Just as the OHV people have so many places to go, I would like just a few places that I can ride my horse without four-wheelers or motorcycles using the same trails as my horse.
And please don’t say we already have a couple of wilderness areas for quiet use; although I am grateful for them, they are at very high altitude and can only be accessed three months out of the year at most.
The Browns Canyon Wilderness would allow hikers and riders year-round access.
At the end of your article, Mr. Kerrison, you state we should recognize the needs of everyone who wants to use our public lands. If all areas are open to motorized access, then in what way is that recognizing the needs of those who would like quiet recreation?
Linda Gibas, Salid