DENVER (AP) – Conservation groups hope their latest attempt to designate 90 square miles in the heart of Colorado ski country as wilderness will have better luck now that Rep. Jared Polis has a seat on the House Natural Resources Committee.

The Colorado Democrat introduced the Continental Divide Wilderness Area and Recreation bill Thursday, and Polis’ new committee will have a key role in the decision.

The bill would expand some existing wilderness areas and create new ones on land bordering the Continental Divide in Summit and eastern Eagle counties.

Polis said the measure has the backing of businesses in the Summit and Eagle counties, including ski resorts.

“They want to make sure some of the special spaces along the Continental Divide … are protected,” Polis said Thursday.

He said the designation also has the backing of the Climax molybdenum mine near Leadville, which owns some mineral rights near the area.

The proposal would create new wilderness areas in the Williams Fork Mountains, Tenmile Range and Hoosier Ridge, as well as expand the existing Holy Cross, Eagles Nest and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas.

A hearing on the designation has not been scheduled.

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