DENVER (AP) — Conservationists and some Colorado Democrats are praising the choice of four areas in the state that President Barack Obama’s administration says should receive wilderness or conservation protection.

The proposal suggests expanding land protections for the McKenna Peak, Castle Peak, Browns Canyon and Bull Gulch wilderness study areas. The final decision would be up to Congress.

The Western Energy Alliance says it doesn’t know what the potential for energy development is there because all have been off limits for decades as wilderness study areas.

The choices include areas that Rep. Jared Polis and Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall have suggested should receive protection.

Fellow Democrat and Rep. Diana DeGette says all four areas provide clean air, water and wildlife habitat and help drive tourism.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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