Harmony in High Country: Balancing conservation and recreation

The Nebraska Beef Council (known for their campaign “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner”) brought together a diverse group of individuals has come together to find common ground in the middle of the vast wilderness. Through their shared love for the land and a commitment to preserving its beauty, they’re forging a unique alliance that bridges the gap between conservation and recreation.

Janie VanWinkle, a Colorado rancher, understands that while they may approach it from different directions, a common goal unites them. She passionately speaks of the common ground beneath their feet—a foundation of shared values and a deep appreciation for the land.

For VanWinkle, it is about ensuring that future generations, can continue to embrace and cherish these landscapes. She envisions a world where the land remains pristine and accessible to all who seek its beauty and wonder.

Eddie Taylor, a professional climber and science teacher, brings his unique perspective to the table. He believes in leaving as little impact as possible while still making the great outdoors accessible to all, a philosophy that resonates with many outdoor enthusiasts.

Taylor emphasizes the role of education among climbers in respecting the land and minimizing their environmental footprint. Climbing enthusiasts strive to leave no trace and appreciate the importance of responsible outdoor recreation.

Billy Gascoigne, a conservationist with Ducks Unlimited, acknowledges the importance of ranching communities in conserving grasslands, North America’s most endangered ecosystem. These stewards, like Janie and Howard, share a common interest in preserving grass and water for wildlife habitat.

In the high country of Colorado, this diverse group of individuals is proving that harmony between conservation and recreation is possible. Their commitment to preserving the land they love and sharing it with others serves as an inspiring example of how we can all play a role in protecting the environment while enjoying its natural wonders.

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