Six years ago, in the interest of protecting Colorado’s pristine wilderness areas while the national roadless area rule was being contested in court, the state began development of a roadless rule. Two drafts and 200,000 public comments later, local conservation organizations are now looking to scrap that rule and go back to the national roadless rule, which has since been validated twice by circuit courts, including the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver in October. Not only is a state rule no long necessary, conservation groups say, the Colorado roadless rule doesn’t offer protections for Colorado’s forests that are as strong as the national rule. They’re putting pressure on the Obama administration to block the proposed Colorado Roadless Rule.
The Colorado Environmental Coalition, Colorado Mountain Club, Earthjustice, High Country Citizens Alliance, The Pew Environment Group, San Juan Citizens Alliance, Rocky Mountain Wild, Sheep Mountain Alliance, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, Western Colorado Congress, and the Wilderness Workshop have been running ads requesting people to petition President Obama to overturn the state plan.
“Roadless forests are some of the most important areas in the state for our drinking water sources, for wildlife habitat, for backcountry recreation,” says Elise Jones, executive director of Colorado Environmental Coalition. “These are really some of the gems, and it’s really important that we have the strongest possible protections.”
Read the full article, Contesting the Rules of Roadlessness, on the Boulder Weekly website.