The Colorado Independent,2020
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There is a new buzz in the roadless debate. Charlie Berger, owner of Denver Beer Co., this week called on Congress to strengthen protections of public lands in light of the U.S. Forest Service's deliberation of a new state-specific proposal to manage forests and attempts by Republican lawmakers to roll back wilderness and roadless area protections.
Colorado’s senior member of Congress, Democrat Diana DeGette, issued a statement today blasting Republican attempts to roll back wilderness and roadless area protections for public lands, also offering her support for national Great Outdoors Week Aug. 20-28.
The Pew Environment Group today came out in opposition to a bill introduced last spring by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., that would open up a “Wyoming-sized” chunk of national forest and Bureau of Land Management land to resource extraction, road building and motorized vehicle traffic.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hasn’t exactly given the controversial Colorado Roadless Rule a failing grade, but the federal agency this week did issue an “I” for incomplete.
Just under the wire, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., got her official comments in on the controversial Colorado Roadless Rule Thursday, sending them to the U.S. Forest Service in a letter copied to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell.
Wildfire season in Colorado’s super-saturated high country seems so far off, but the debate over thinning beetle-killed forests to reduce fire risk around mountain towns remains at the forefront of an ongoing campaign to further revise the Colorado Roadless Rule.
Concern about an early and potentially explosive wildfire season in Colorado has fanned the flames of debate over how far into the national forest crews should build temporary roads to clear trees and reduce the fuel load around towns. The release last week of another draft of the controversial Colorado Roadless Rule further fueled the controversy. The rule would allow temporary road building a half mile into the national forest surrounding communities and tree thinning without roads another mile into the forest.
The state of Colorado and U.S. Forest Service today announced yet another draft version of the controversial Colorado Roadless Rule (pdf) that has been hotly debated for nearly six years. Already environmental groups indicated the new draft rule falls short of protecting some of the state’s 4.2 million acres of roadless national forest land.
The HD Mountains in southern Colorado were reportedly named after an old cattle brand, not the more contemporary “High Definition” television brand. But a plan by BP America and other oil and gas companies to drill natural gas in the low-elevation roadless area has brought into crystal-clear focus the debate over drilling for gas on public lands deemed “roadless” by the Clinton administration in 2001.
A prominent conservation group today simultaneously praised a U.S. district court ruling upholding Idaho’s roadless rule and looked ahead to anticipated revisions of Colorado’s rule, which it says falls short in protecting millions of acres of public lands from road building projects. The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP), a coalition of sportsmen’s group, lauded a U.S. 9th District Court decision upholding the Idaho roadless rule, which governs the administration of more than 9.3 million acres of roadless public lands in that state.