Hermosa Creek in Southwest Colorado is beautiful in many ways. To anglers, it is trout heaven. To mountain bikers, it is an awesome place to ride. To miners, it is a limited but valuable source of minerals. In some circumstances, these constituencies would fight over the future of this wild piece of U.S. Forest Service land just outside Durango.
But that's not the story that has played out.
No, these interests came together in 2007 and began talking and compromising until they had a plan everybody could live with.
And now they're asking Congress to pass the watershed protection bill that is the result of their work. And it needs to happen soon, before elections become the sole focus of Washington, D.C., and a lame-duck Congress presides.
"All the concessions were made in the community," said Ty Churchwell, a Durango resident who is backcountry coordinator for Trout Unlimited. "There's nothing for them to do in D.C. but vote it forward."