Wednesday, January 7, 2004
In an effort to work in closer connection with the Moffat County community, where much of the group's work is focused, the Colorado Wilderness Network has opened an office in Craig.
The CWN is an environmental advocacy group that seeks to offer information, education and communication with Coloradans concerned with land management issues. It will hold a public open house from 6 to 8 p.m. today at its Craig office, 11 W. Victory Way, Room 208, to talk and answer questions about the organization and share thoughts and values on conservation.
One of the group's most pressing and controversial current issues, a road right-of-way claim called Revised Statute 2477 that Moffat County has used to claim more than 2,000 miles of prospective roadways, is one of the reasons for the opening of the office, but not the only reason, said Reed Morris, the newly hired public lands protection organizer at the Craig office.
"Our hope and intention with opening this office is to become closer in proximity and face-to-face communication with local government officials with issues of land management," Morris said. "It's interesting in Moffat County where the land is an economic resource because of its geological value. One of our missions is to point out that these types of land are underrepresented and that alternate economic and aesthetic values are worth looking at.
"Most of those lands being federal BLM lands are places we've identified as some of the last wild places in the state and in the country."
Moffat County is Colorado's second largest county in terms of acreage, meaning a large sum of land is up for future debate in terms of development. With Craig being a major city in Northwest Colorado as well as the home of the Little Snake BLM office, opening a CWN office there puts the CWN in the middle of the action, Morris said.
Morris moved to Craig from Denver, where he worked on transportation issues with the National Conference of State Legislatures. He has an undergraduate degree in biology from Michigan State University and a law degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The CWN Craig office can be reached at 824-5241, or the Steamboat Springs office can be reached at 871-1786.
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