Events give nod to Wilderness 50-year anniversary |

Events give nod to Wilderness 50-year anniversary

Submitted to the Sky-Hi

June 21: Hike Historic Monarch Lake – A Gateway to the Wilderness

Join the Grand County Wilderness Group on a short hike (around five miles) to the start of one of Grand County’s wilderness areas, Indian Peaks. Leader Tim Nicklas’ knowledge of the area’s history will be an added attraction to the hike. Nicklas is director of the Grand County Historical Association. Meet at the Monarch Lake Cabin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 21. Take Highway 34 about six miles to Arapahoe Bay Road. Drive about 10 miles to Monarch Lake. You must have an ANRA pass, or equivalent, for your car which you can buy at the cabin. Dress for the weather and don’t forget the sunscreen. To register or for more information e-mail :, or

History of Wilderness presentation

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wilderness Act on Sept. 3, 1964. The Act was the culmination of more than 30 years of effort by people dedicated to preserving the remaining roadless natural areas across the nation. The controversy over those special lands — a fight between wilderness advocates and pro-development forces — was particularly heated during the eight – 10 years leading up to the Act’s passage. No less than 65 versions of the Bill to protect America’s wilderness were before Congress during those years.

Today, there are 758 legislated wilderness areas across the Nation, with more than 109.5 million acres under the highest level of Federal protection. This year celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act’s passage. And at 7 p.m. on June 21, at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center, 1.5 miles north of Grand Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park , a presentation is being held on the history of wilderness preservation in America, and the Wilderness Act’s impact on the National Parks and Forests — Rocky Mountain National Park and Arapaho National Forest in particular.

Jim Liles, the speaker, was the West Unit Manager of park operations on the park’s west side through the 1970s, when the first wilderness proposal for the park was developed. He was also involved in advancing a wilderness proposal for the Indian Peaks. Jim resides part of each year in Grand County with his son Bryant born here in 1975 in the home they built (on vacation time) over the last 20 years of Jim’s 36 year career with the National Park Service. Jim’s memoir, “Ramblings of a Ranger,” is available for reading in the Grand Lake and Grand County Libraries reference sections.

June 28: Walk for Wilderness in Hot Sulphur Springs

This hike will be focused on children. It will be a great opportunity to share the wilderness with any children in your life. Meet at 9:00 am at the Community Gardens Town Park, Hot Sulphur Springs. Contact Christine Lee at

July 12: Indian Peaks Wilderness hike

Starts at Junco Cabin at 8:30 a.m. and is led by Izzie Ditmarson, wilderness ranger. Izzie will also talk about “Leave No Trace.” For signup and information, contact Christine Lee at . Make a day of it by attending the “Wild by Law” video presentation at the Historic Fraser Church at 6:30 p.m. The speaker will be Debbie Northcutt.


July 21-23: Broome Hut

Help construct a trail , extending the Second Creek Trail to the Mt. Nystrom Trail in Vasquez Peak Wilderness, and restore alpine habitat.

July 31: Daisy Demolition Day near Indian Peaks Wilderness.

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