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Spraddle Creek, White River National Forest, Colorado
A young spruce weathers winter alone along Spraddle Creek on the east side of the Gore range and across the valley from Vail ski resort. The area provides important habitat for Canada lynx, bighorn sheep, mountain goats and black bear. It also provides increasingly rare opportunity for quiet-use recreationists such as backpackers and backcountry skiers. Spraddle Creek would become protected wilderness under the proposed Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act, one of the largest conservation efforts in US history.
This image was photographed in support of the CORE Act, legislation to protect 400,000 acres of public lands in Colorado.