Thursday, May 3, 2012

Final Colorado Roadless Rule Announced

Yesterday the USFS released the final draft of the Colorado Roadless Rule, a state-specific rule that will replace the 2001 national Roadless Rule for management of 4.2 million acres of inventoried roadless lands in Colorado. 

In response, the CMC released the following public statement:

The Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) applauds the improvements to the Colorado Roadless Rule and appreciates the US Forest Service for dramatically increasing to 1.2 million acres the “upper tier” of protected lands and the tightening of exemptions.  These are a significant improvement from the earlier draft versions of the state-specific rule.

The CMC’s 7,000 members and the outdoor recreating public deeply value these roadless lands as places for hiking, nature watching, quiet contemplation and refuge from an increasingly hectic and mechanized world. 

Since the 2001 national Roadless Area Conservation Rule has been upheld in courts and affirmed as the law of the land, CMC and others have called on the Obama administration to either apply the national rule to Colorado or to increase the level of protection in the Colorado-specific rule to a level that is truly consistent with the national rule.

While in many ways the Colorado Roadless Rule has improved, there are still some troubling elements that preclude the CMC’s full endorsement, including exemptions for coal mine methane venting, ski area expansions and new roads in roadless areas.  These exceptions to roadless protections prevent our full endorsement of the Final Rule as released today.  We hope that the Obama administration will continue to strengthen the Colorado Rule’s protections and close some of the exceptions in the final weeks of the rulemaking.

Map of Colorado roadless lands


Denver Post:
Associated Press:
Summit Daily News:
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:
The Coloradoan:
Aspen Times:
Summit County Citizens Voice:
Colorado Independent: