Yet another draft of Colorado Roadless Rule draws enviro fire for logging, ski area, coal mining exemptions

By David O. Williams
Real AspenApril 15, 2011
The State of Colorado and the U.S. Forest Service today announced yet another draft version of the controversial Colorado Roadless Rule 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 release of today's draft plan and draft environmental impact statement starts the clock ticking on what may be the final 90-day public comment period after nearly five and a half years and more than 200,000 public comments. The Obama administration hopes to finalize the Colorado Rule by January of next year.

“We're one step closer to actually having roadless protection in this state,” regional forester Rick Cables said on a conference call with reporters. “[This rule] provides for durable and contemporary roadless protection in Colorado and it allows for certain multiple uses and certain exemptions.”
The new Colorado Roadless Rule allows temporary logging roads a half mile from communities to reduce wildfire risk.

Those exemptions include road building for coal mine expansion along the North Fork of the Gunnison River, ski area expansion around the state and temporary roads for logging up to a half mile out from communities in the midst of hundreds of thousands of acres of beetle-killed national forest land considered at high risk of wildfire.Cables said “a lot's changed in the ensuing decade” since the Clinton administration introduced a national roadless rule designating higher levels of protection for 58 million acres of national forest in the United States. In Colorado, the mountain pine bark beetle epidemic has killed millions of acres of lodgepole pines in the state's national forests. The Colorado Rule would allow temporary road building a half mile out and fuel mitigation (thinning) up to a mile and a half from threatened communities.

But conservation groups argue the Clinton Rule provides a higher level of protection and that pending litigation should be decided before the Obama administration moves forward with the Colorado Rule.

“The 2001 national roadless rule is the gold standard, and protects Colorado roadless areas now,” said Ted Zukoski, a Denver-based attorney for the environmental law firm Earthjustice.”The Obama administration promised the Colorado Rule would protect our remaining roadless forests as well as or better than the national rule. It doesn't.”

The road building exemption to vent methane from expanded coal mines in the North Fork of the Gunnison area was defended by Cables as an important economic use that will sustain approximately 2,200 mining jobs in the state. Zukoski blasted that decision.

“The proposed Colorado Roadless Rule (pdf) has damaging loopholes,” Zukoski said. “It will allow 20,000 acres of our state's remaining wild forests to be scarred with bulldozers for coal mining, a dirty energy source. And it doesn't end the threat of oil and gas leasing on leases pushed through by the Forest Service after 2001.”

The Bush administration quickly threw out the Clinton Roadless Rule early in 2001 and later set up a process whereby states could petition for individual roadless rules on federal lands. Only Idaho and Colorado, under then-Gov. Bill Owens, went down that road, starting a bipartisan task force process that resulted in the first Colorado Rule under Gov. Bill Ritter's administration in 2008.

Meanwhile, various legal challenges to the Clinton Rule have been tied up in U.S. district courts for years, but the Forest Service allowed a number of oil and gas leases to go through after the Clinton Rule was thrown out. Mike King, head of Colorado's Department of Natural Resources, said the fate of those leases is in the hands of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considering a ruling by a Wyoming district court invalidating the 2001 Clinton Rule.

“We've been waiting on a decision from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Judge Bremmer's decision out of Wyoming for quite some time … ,” King said, “and that really will determine what the status is of the [oil and gas] gap leases. Right now they're just very much in limbo.”

All the more reason for the Obama administration to hold off, said Zukoski, who has been involved in litigation defending the national Clinton Rule in courtrooms around the western U.S.

“The Obama administration should not put forward a watered-down roadless rule for Colorado when the 10th Circuit could uphold the national rule here any day. We shouldn't have to accept weaker protections for our roadless areas.”

However, King and Cables argued the Colorado Rule actually provides better protections for the state than the national rule, which is in legal limbo. This new draft includes so-called “upper tier” protections for more than 562,000 acres of the state's overall 4.2-million acres of roadless inventory. Critics point out, however, that that's a much lower percentage than the Idaho Rule, which has been approved and is in effect.

“Colorado's national forest lands support some of the largest mule deer and elk herds in the nation, and we can't afford to sell these backcountry areas short,” Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership field representative Nick Payne said in a release.

“Hunters and anglers urge the administration to carefully review the successful conservation outcome attained in the Idaho Roadless Rule, including the expansion of upper-tier roadless acreages valuable to big-game populations and fisheries, with the goal of reaching a similar conclusion in Colorado.”

Idaho designated about 30 percent of its roadless areas as upper tier, or upper theme, meaning they have higher levels of protections from future exemptions written into the rule. Colorado is proposing about 11 percent as upper tier.

“Idaho started from a different place,” King said. “Colorado has a long history of taking roadless areas and considering them for congressional designation as wilderness. Idaho has not done that, and so they had more raw inventory from which to begin work and that's why, from a percentage basis, more of the most special places within roadless were eligible and probably appropriate for that upper tier, or their higher theme as they called it in Idaho.”

Jane Danowitz, director of the U.S. public lands program for the Pew Environment Group said her organization will work hard to make the current draft much better ahead of a final decision.

“The Obama administration has made some important improvements to the state's initial plan but falls short in carrying out its commitment to protect all of Colorado's national forests with a policy as strong as the 2001 Roadless Rule,” Danowitz said. “The plan protects a fraction of the forests in Colorado, leaving some of the state's best backcountry vulnerable to increased road-building, expanded coal mining and new oil and gas development.”


comments: 33 Comments on "Yet another draft of Colorado Roadless Rule draws enviro fire for logging, ski area, coal mining exemptions"

lepetiw688 – Aug. 26, 2022, at 8:59 a.m.

Your withdrawal bleed usually comes a couple of days after the last pill. But because you’re taking new hormones, your body will take some time to get into the swing of things and may skip a couple of bleeds or reduce amount/time of bleed.. . If you want to skip the bleed for a holiday or something, keep taking the next pack straight after the last one. Won’t do any harm.. . Of course if there’s a chance you’re pregnant this could also be a cause. A visit to the doctor will help you out either way. Anaheim refrigerator repair

lepetiw688 – Aug. 27, 2022, at 3:14 a.m.

My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks! https://www.xenicalshop.com/product/7

lepetiw688 – Aug. 27, 2022, at 7:17 a.m.

I totally understand what you have explained. Actually, I browsed throughout your several other content articles and I do believe you are absolutely correct. Congrats with this particular blog. instagram likes

lepetiw688 – Aug. 28, 2022, at 3:14 a.m.

I am often to blogging and i also truly appreciate your site content. The content has really peaks my interest. I am about to bookmark your blog and maintain checking for new details. 대구출장안마

lepetiw688 – Aug. 28, 2022, at 7:41 a.m.

MEDICAL VISA PARA SA INDIA It constantly is amazing to me how blog writers for example your self can find some time along with the commitment to carry on composing outstanding blogposts. Your blog isterrific and one of my must read blogs. I just had to thank you.

lepetiw688 – Aug. 30, 2022, at 4:15 a.m.

I’m a little surprised at how interesting your content is. I think you should make an ebook out of this information. Thank you for sharing. ผิวลอก

lepetiw688 – Aug. 31, 2022, at 4:37 a.m.

I concur along with your conclusions and can eagerly watch forward to your future updates. The usefulness and significance has me overwhelmed and contains been invaluable to my opinion! Internetmarketingbureau Alkmaar

lepetiw688 – Aug. 31, 2022, at 7:59 a.m.

Please keep on posting such quality storys as this is a rare thing to find these days. I am always searching online for posts that can help me. watching forward to another great website. Good luck to the author! all the best! 減肥

lepetiw688 – Sept. 06, 2022, at 8:26 a.m.

Undeniably imagine that that you said. Your favourite justification appeared to be at the internet the simplest thing to consider of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed even as other people think about issues that they just don’t realize about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top as smartly defined out the entire thing without having side-effects , other people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks 토토사이트

lepetiw688 – Sept. 07, 2022, at 4:33 a.m.

It is best to participate in a contest for the most effective blogs on the web. I’ll advocate this website! Packers and Movers pune to Noida

lepetiw688 – Sept. 10, 2022, at 3:12 a.m.

Spot i’ll carry on with this write-up, I truly think this website needs considerably more consideration. I’ll probably be once more to learn far more, thank you for that info. Internetmarketingbureau Zevenaar

lepetiw688 – Sept. 16, 2022, at 6:42 a.m.

An incredibly interesting examine, I may possibly not concur entirely, but you do make some very valid points. Заявка на візу в Туреччину онлайн

lepetiw688 – Sept. 19, 2022, at 7:17 a.m.

Your blog does not display correctly on my iphone – you might wanna try and repair that flea-market bidvaluable

lepetiw688 – Oct. 16, 2022, at 9:49 a.m.

v

lepetiw688 – Oct. 16, 2022, at 9:49 a.m.

Woah this is just an insane amount of information, must of taken ages to compile so thank you so much for just sharing it with all of us. If your ever in any need of related info, perhaps a bit of coaching, seduction techniques or just general tips, just check out my own site! tumbler mug

lepetiw688 – Oct. 18, 2022, at 4:07 p.m.

I would really love to guest post on your blog.*,;.: North American Bancard ISO Program

lepetiw688 – Oct. 20, 2022, at 7:55 a.m.

I respect your piece of work, appreciate it for all the interesting content . mega game slot

lepetiw688 – Oct. 21, 2022, at 10:03 a.m.

Appreciate it for this howling post, I am glad I observed this internet site on yahoo. judi bolatangkas

lepetiw688 – Oct. 22, 2022, at 10:24 a.m.

Heya i am for the primary time here. I came across this board and I to find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I’m hoping to provide something back and help others such as you aided me. web design Sydney

lepetiw688 – Oct. 26, 2022, at 6:17 a.m.

The next time I read a blog, I am hoping that it doesnt disappoint me about that one. I mean, It was my method to read, but I personally thought youd have some thing intriguing to convey. All I hear can be a bunch of whining about something that you could fix in the event you werent too busy looking for attention. สล็อตออนไลน์

lepetiw688 – Oct. 28, 2022, at 12:52 p.m.

Have you ever thought about writing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog centered on the same ideas you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email. Best ISO Agent Program

lepetiw688 – Oct. 30, 2022, at 8:14 a.m.

I am glad to be a visitant of this perfect blog, regards for this rare info! registered iso of wells fargo bank

lepetiw688 – Oct. 31, 2022, at 5:40 a.m.

I just couldn’t depart your site prior to suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the standard information an individual provide for your visitors? Is gonna be back frequently in order to inspect new posts North American Bancard ISO

lepetiw688 – Nov. 01, 2022, at 8:42 a.m.

I dugg some of you post as I cogitated they were very beneficial invaluable selling merchant services

lepetiw688 – Nov. 03, 2022, at 8:57 a.m.

Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn something like this before. So nice to find anyone with some unique thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this web site is something that’s needed on the web, someone with just a little originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the internet! selling merchant services

lepetiw688 – Nov. 04, 2022, at 10:06 a.m.

I precisely wanted to appreciate you all over again. I do not know the things I would have sorted out in the absence of the entire suggestions shown by you concerning my problem. It was a difficult issue in my position, nevertheless witnessing a new expert mode you dealt with that took me to weep over gladness. I am happier for the help and as well , pray you realize what a powerful job you were putting in training the rest through your site. Most probably you haven’t met all of us. payment processing agent

lepetiw688 – Nov. 05, 2022, at 9:01 a.m.

Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back. North American Bancard Sales Partner

lepetiw688 – Nov. 05, 2022, at 4:45 p.m.

Hey, what kind of anti-spam plugin do you use for your blog.;-’-` White Water Pinball Machine For Sale

lepetiw688 – Nov. 06, 2022, at 7:19 a.m.

An impressive share, I with all this onto a colleague who was simply performing a small analysis on this. And hubby in reality bought me breakfast due to the fact I discovered it for him.. smile. So well then, i’ll reword that: Thnx for your treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, Personally i think strongly over it and love reading regarding this topic. If it is possible, as you grow expertise, might you mind updating your blog site to comprehend details? It’s highly useful for me. Massive thumb up for this writing! Jetty Cart

lepetiw688 – Nov. 11, 2022, at 11:32 a.m.

i think that gun control is a must because more guns means more deaths- Weight loss pills that work

lepetiw688 – Nov. 12, 2022, at 1:29 p.m.

I feel that is an enchanting element, it made me think a bit. Thanks for sparking my thinking cap. From time to time I get so much in a rut that I just really feel like a record. สูตร บา คา ร่า ฟรี

lepetiw688 – Nov. 28, 2022, at 7:39 a.m.

I surely didn’t understand that. Learnt a thing new today! Thanks for that. Game bài đổi thưởng

lepetiw688 – Dec. 01, 2022, at 8:55 a.m.

Why kill these teenagers who are a part of the legacy? รับสร้างเว็บไซต์

COMMENT
Comment Form Info  Comment Information
Real Aspen encourages you to post comments on our articles and blogs. Logged in email is required for monitoring purposes. Your email will not be published and will not be distributed to any third-party. Abusive, obscene, profane, threatening, libelous or defamatory comments are prohibited. By posting a comment, you agree to this policy and our terms of use. To report an abusive posting, please contact us.

To make a comment, please log in or create an account. This helps us prevent spam and other malicious attacks.

Please log in to comment

 

Create a user account to comment

Snow Report

  24hr snow mid dpth snow cond.
A-Basin n/a n/a
Aspen n/a n/a closed
BC n/a n/a closed
Breckenridge n/a n/a closed
Buttermilk n/a n/a closed
Copper n/a n/a closed
Crest. Butte n/a n/a closed
Eldora n/a n/a closed
Heavenly n/a n/a closed
Highlands n/a n/a
Howelsen n/a n/a closed
Keystone n/a n/a closed
Kirkwood n/a n/a closed
Loveland n/a n/a
Monarch n/a n/a closed
Northstar n/a n/a closed
Powderhorn n/a n/a closed
Purgatory n/a n/a closed
Silverton n/a n/a closed
Ski Cooper n/a n/a closed
Ski Granby n/a n/a closed
Snowmass n/a n/a closed
Steamboat n/a n/a closed
Sunlight n/a n/a closed
Telluride n/a n/a closed
Vail n/a n/a closed
WinterPark n/a n/a closed
Wolf Creek n/a n/a closed
More Weather Reports
VIDEO GALLERY
Vail powder day snow snake
Airing it out at Crested Butte
Feb. 17, 2011 Surprise 14 inches of Fresh Powder