Breaking a 33-Year Stalemate

Today Colorado senators Wayne Allard and Ken Salazar, along with congressional reps Mark Udall and Marilyn Musgrave, gathered with Long's Peak as their backdrop and announced a "new" piece of legislation that was 33 years in the making. Allard spoke of the "immense tectonic forces" that shaped Rocky Mountain National Park over millions of years. Congress doesn't quite move that slow, but it's close.

The effort to designate a quarter-million acres of the park as wilderness dates back to the 1964 passage of the Wilderness Act, but the proposal has languished in endless partisan bickering since, only to be revived every decade or so in a new form. Now with backing from both sides of the aisle, it might actually happen.

To learn more about the park and its long quest for wilderness status, see our 2004 article Loved to Death. – Alan Prendergast

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Crystal Preston-Watson