Maddie Rehn is a native Coloradan who grew up at altitude in Summit County. She is currently a Western State Colorado University, Master of Environmental Management (MEM) candidate. Maddie is deeply connected to her public lands and is working in partnership with Gunnison Public Lands Initiative (GPLI) for her final MEM project. GPLI is a coalition of local stakeholders who aim to protect public lands in Gunnison County. The initiative formed in response to local groups’ concerns about the future of Gunnison’s public lands concerning issues such as intact wildlife habitat, healthy watersheds, and protection from extractive industries. The group is now working with a larger collaborative effort – Gunnison Working Group for Public Lands – to explore and potentially designate Wilderness and Special Management Areas on Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands in Gunnison County.