The Carbondale nonprofit, Wilderness Workshop, announced recently that more than 100 local businesses have signed on to support a campaign to celebrate the role that public lands play in bolstering the statewide economy.
A poster listing those businesses will be displayed in numerous locations throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, the nonprofit says in a news release. Also, Conservation Colorado, a Denver nonprofit, has named the dozens of statewide businesses that have joined together to communicate their appreciation of public lands. Collectively, those businesses are urging U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner to protect them in Congress by supporting the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, also known as CORE.
The related announcements were made Saturday, timed with the third annual statewide celebration of Public Lands Day. Wilderness Workshop led two hikes, one in the Roaring Fork Valley and one in the Eagle River Valley, to raise awareness of public lands through their exploration, the release states.
“Our local economy thrives in large part because of our proximity and access to public lands,” Wilderness Workshop community organizer Alicia Zeringue said in the release. “Colorado’s pristine forests, majestic mountains, wild lands and clean air and water are the key ingredients to our flourishing economy, not only attracting tourists, but also beckoning top talent and a highly educated workforce to want to live, work and play here.
“Wilderness Workshop’s Public Lands Business Allies campaign is shining a spotlight on the important voices of businesses in our community that support protecting our public lands and keeping them available for all Americans to enjoy,” Zeringue added.
Adam Miller, of the Carbondale company Why Cycles, explained why he joined the campaign.
“I decided to move my business from Ogden, Utah, to Carbondale at a time when public lands in Utah are becoming increasingly threatened and successfully taken away,” he said in a prepared statement. “I wanted my business to be more involved in supporting communities, states and governments that value our public lands as much as I do, and I think the Roaring Fork Valley fully embodies this mindset.”
Matthew Hamilton, sustainability director at Aspen Skiing Co., echoed those sentiments.
“Public lands are our business,” he said in the release. “Communities across the West thrive because of access to these lands. These lands produce significant economic value in their current state and that value must be accounted for in decisions that might adversely impact these lands.”
Hamilton added that SkiCo is committed to protecting public lands “for the enjoyment of future generations, the thousands of employees who depend on these lands for their paychecks and the long-term viability of our business.”
To commemorate Public Lands Day, Wilderness Workshop joined with Bristlecone Mountain Sports of Basalt to lead a free, public hike at Perham Creek Trail outside of Carbondale.
Interested businesses can learn more and sign on to the Public Lands Business Allies campaign by visiting wildernessworkshop.org/businessesforpublic lands or by contacting Zeringue at email@example.com.