Members of Colorado's congressional delegation are gearing up to seek protection for thousands of acres of pristine wilderness, part of 1.9 million acres in the state that environmental groups are trying to place under the strictest federal protection.
A suite of parcels proposed by environmentalists for protection would expand Colorado's current wilderness (3.7 million acres, 3 percent of the state) by 50 percent. The designation bars motorized vehicles and other mechanized activity except in emergencies.
"It's important for us here in Colorado to be able to look out at the mountains and see them as still wild and untrammeled," said Suzanne Jones, regional director of the Wilderness Society. "People need to be able to find solitude and respite to rejuvenate themselves."