The Mesa County Commissioners today adopted a resolution opposing the Colorado Wilderness Act of 2015 and calling on Congress to release all wilderness study areas in Mesa County.
Several community members spoke on the resolution. Some urged the Commissioners to support the Wilderness Act; others agreed with the Commissioners on the act's potential harm to the Western Slope.
"At a time when we are trying to get more areas open to access, closing more areas is just not something we can support," said Commission Chairwoman Rose Pugliese.
Said Commissioner Scott McInnis: "I think it's a very dangerous bill. It has huge implications to our area, our lifestyle and our land."
All three commissioners took issue with the fact that the bill was drafted by Rep. Diana DeGette, a Democrat from Colorado's 1st Congressional district, without any input from the Western Slope.
"If we wanted a wilderness area, we'd be working with our congressional delegation to do so," said Commissioner John Justman.
In other news, the Commissioners:
- approved a notice of appeal to be submitted to the Bureau of Land Management's state office. This gives notice that the Commissioners plan to appeal the Travel Management Plan implementation decisions contained in the BLM's Resource Management Plan Record of Decision for the Grand Junction Field Office.
- heard a presentation of the 2014 annual financial audit by Lisa Hemann of Chadwick, Steinkirchner, Davis and Co.
- approved a contract between Mesa County and Pioneer Technology Group for Landmark recording software for the Clerk and Recorder's Office. The contract is for $171,275.