Economic Benefits of Wilderness
People come to the Central Rocky Mountains to hike, camp, ski, kayak, raft, hunt, fish, mountain bike, horseback ride, ATV, and snowmobile. The areas within the Continental Divide proposal are located in the White River National Forest, which draws more than 12 million visitors a year. These visitors spend their money at local tourism and outdoor recreation businesses.
Outdoor recreation is critical to Colorado’s economy. It generates $13.2 billion in consumer spending and is responsible for 125,000 jobs that pay $4.2 billion in salaries and wages.
Historically, businesses have chosen to locate in beautiful, scenic places, like Colorado. In fact, total employment in counties with protected wilderness grew 65 percent faster than places that are not near protected public lands.
- Clean Water
The Central Rocky Mountains are home to alpine lakes, key watersheds, and incredible rivers and streams. Local communities and cities along the front-range depend on this area for clean drinking water, healthy fishing streams, and outdoor recreation activities.. Protected public lands like wilderness areas were designated in order to preserve healthy watersheds for current and future generations. The Proposal preserves local streams where blue-ribbon trout can be found. Wildlife throughout the area depend on the clean water protected within the proposal.
- Wildlife Habitat
The Central Rocky Mountains hold ecologically important, mid-elevation areas that provide vital wildlife habitat to black bear, elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose, lynx, wild turkey, and the rare wolverine. Safeguarding these lands will preserve sportsmen’s time-tested backcountry traditions to hunt and fish in world-class Continental Divide.