Conservation Committee


July 1 2009

Those attending: Kirk Cunningham and Todd Sanford

Todd Sanford discussed his work on wilderness issues, mostly in the state of Colorado. He is soliciting input and volunteer assistance from Sierra Club members in the IPG who wish to be active on wilderness preservation.

1) The most important wilderness bills or potential bills in play now are the “Hidden Gems” wilderness proposal, including several National Forest roadless areas in Summit and Eagle counties close to the I-70 corridor, and Rep. Diana DeGette’s Colorado Canyon Country (mostly BLM) wilderness bill, which includes more than fifty potential wilderness areas. DeGette’s bill has been in the Congressional hopper for about a decade now, but has made little progress. Degette would like to get her omnibus bill passed and is dissatisfied with the environmental community’s more piecemeal approach. However, she would like to work more with the Sierra Club on this issue.

2) Todd is willing to help out local proponents of an expansion of the Service Creek Wilderness SE of Steamboat Springs. Apparently, the local Ranger District is in favor of this expansion. However, he has not received much feedback from the local advocacy group recently.

3) Todd will be making an effort to contact every office of the Colorado Congressional delegation to explore their interest in wilderness legislation. He will also be contacting all wilderness specialists in the Colorado Sierra Club Groups. He is particularly interested in finding out the wilderness potential of richer, mid-elevation level public lands that are poorly represented in the national wilderness system.

4) Todd also represents the Rocky Mountain Chapter on a national Sierra Club wilderness committee. That committee’s chief interest at this time are impingement of energy siting and transmission corridors on potential wilderness lands. This is a somewhat bigger problem in other states than in Colorado at the moment.

Contact Todd at