I recently had the privilege of traveling to Washington DC for Great Outdoors America Week. It was a great trip! We both furthered our goals for protecting public lands in Colorado and it was a fun time! Great Outdoors America week (GO Week) is organized by the Wilderness Society and brings all different kinds of outdoor related organizations, businesses, elected leaders etc from all over the country to our nation’s capitol to collaborate and meet with members of Congress. In addition to groups advocating for wilderness protections like CEC, there were outdoor education people, mountain biking advocates, veterans for the outdoors and many others. The big tent approach is very effective, imagine hundreds of GO Week participants flooding the halls of Congress, it was hard to miss the passion for the outdoors and public lands!
The Colorado crew was impressive. There were over thirty of us meeting with our delegation members about current wilderness legislation, such as San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act and the Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act; and upcoming pieces of legislation (we hope!) like Senator Udall’s Browns Canyon and the Central Mountains Outdoor Heritage proposal and Senator Bennet’s Hermosa Creek Wilderness Proposal. We also updated our delegation about our progress in the Dolores Basin and efforts on Wild and Scenic Rivers efforts. The Colorado Crew included county commissioners, town council members, business leaders and outdoor industry representatives all promoting public land protection. See, Impressive! One of the Congressional staffers pulled me aside after a meeting and said ‘that was really refreshing!’ I guess not all of the meetings they have are so much fun!
Speaking of fun, GO Week pulls in people from all over the country that are passionate about wilderness and the outdoors. So there are plenty of folks to get to know and lots of old friends from past GO Weeks to catch up with. If you plan your day right you can take some time to take in DC’s rich history and culture.
Check out the Op-Ed submitted by our impressive Colorado crew: http://www.postindependent.com/ARTICLE/20120709/VALLEYNEWS/120709899/-1/RSS
Wilderness Campaigns Coordinator