DENVER (AP) – Colorado Democratic state party chair Rick Palacio says Republican congressman Scott Tipton is trying to pack a town hall meeting in Ridgway with opponents of a federal wilderness bill to keep out supporters of the plan.

Palacio cites an email obtained by The Associated Press from Ouray County GOP chair Jim Buske to fellow Republicans. It asks them to jam the hall with conservatives before a town hall meeting on Friday regarding a proposed wilderness expansion in the San Juan Mountains.

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Tipton spokesman Josh Green says Tipton was unaware of attempts by a local mining association to keep supporters from attending the meeting and he plans to take steps to make sure the meeting at the Ridgway Community Center is open to the public.

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– By Steven K. Paulson, AP Writer

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