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Just a year after record snowfall throughout much of the Rocky Mountain West, the region is locked in a snow drought not seen since Jimmy Carter surrendered the White House to Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s. The record dry conditions have lawmakers and industry observers extremely concerned about looming water shortages and wildfire danger.
DENVER — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday gave the strongest indication to date that the draft of Colorado's roadless rule, which allows road-building exemptions for wildfire mitigation in wilderness areas, will at least be closely considered as the Obama administration moves toward a comprehensive national rule.