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Nothing gets the hackles up in mountain towns quite as quickly these days as broaching the Hidden Gems wilderness proposal. Just bringing up the concept is enough to turn a cocktail party into a tea party on wheels. Supporters of conserving 342,000 acres of public lands as wilderness regularly clash with off-road enthusiasts who insist the national forest must remain open to mechanized travel.
Colorado Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet earlier this week introduced the Senate version of U.S. Rep. John Salazar’s San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act,...