The Connection Runners + running man

Public Lands

As part of this blog, I've decided to keep updates on something that I kinda care a lot about.

I grew up outside of Chicago in a small northwest suburb. As a kid, I spent hours exploring the neighborhood and surrounding areas. Thankfully, I had a good group of friends that lived in the same neighborhood who would join in these activities - I fondly recall having our parents call the cops because we hadn't been around all day so they thought we were lost. We weren't lost. We knew exactly where we were. We were not at home.

The house at the end of the block backed up to a large marsh, where we used to spend hours. There were beaver dams, deer, all sorts of different trees to climb, etc. We used to spend all afternoon out there, and we'd only come home when the sun started to set. I later realized that the land was public land, owned for and paid for by the people of that county. What is remarkable about that is that there really isn't much public land in mid-west or in the east because the U.S. governments' policy toward land was to basically give it away (privatize it).

Now that I live out west, specifically in Colorado, I cannot imagine what this state would be like without the public lands. I think Rocky Mountain National Park is great. Everyone that's been there probably thinks that. But how many of the people that visit RMNP go into the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area? That place is just as magnificent, if not more so. What's special about Wilderness Areas is that they are far more protected than National Parks, in the sense that motorized (or mechanized) means of conveyance are not allowed there, viz., there are no roads that go through that land. If you want to get into it, you have to hike it. (Also, of interest to ultrarunners is that you'll probably never see an event in a wilderness area because of their special status.)

What ultra-runners often claim is great about their sport - the views, terrain, and incredible experiences that result from experiencing nature - takes place on much of this very special land that is held by the government for public use. Consequently, I feel as though a convergence of interests has finally been realized: law, land, and running in the public lands. Because of this convergence, I plan on writing and updating information on the public lands that are so important to all of us. There are certain things that I disagree with and would like to get changed (such as BRC §8-8-10 - Boulderites, you should definitely look this one up), and some things that I'll talk about that I just find interesting. Hopefully, someone finds it interesting too.

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