Colorado's backcountry forests need YOUR help!

Your letter needed by October 23, 2008!


Today, 4.4 million acres of Colorado's roadless national forests are protected by the landmark 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. But under a recently released plan, this backcountry would be opened to industrial development, something the Bush administration is trying to slip through in the twilight of its term.


Colorado's roadless areas provide critical habitat for deer, elk, lynx, black bear, and other wildlife, contain vital watersheds that ensure clean drinking water, and provide tremendous recreation opportunities that bolster Colorado's multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation industry. Roadless areas also provide the core wildlife habitat that makes Colorado one of the nation’s premier destinations for hunters and anglers who annually contribute $2 billion to the state economy. On its way out the door, the Bush administration is moving forward with plans to remove the current protections now in place for Colorado’s roadless backcountry forests.  The proposed plan creates a second-tier management scheme for some of the state’s most sensitive wildlands, leaving them with less protection than any other state in the lower 48. 



Nothing short of another tidal wave of public outcry will derail this bad idea. Please take a moment to draft a letter and plan to attend the public meeting in Glenwood.


1.  Attend the Forest Service Sponsored Open House in Glenwood Springs

When: Wednesday, Sept. 10, 5 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Hotel Colorado, 526 Pine Street, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601


See below for information about how to express your concerns to the Forest Service at the Open House.


2. Write a comment letter asking the US Forest Service to up hold the protections of the 2001 Roadless Rule


Writing Comment Letters

The draft points below provide some suggested language for use in your written comments. You can mail, email or fax your comments. You can also easily submit your comments through the Colorado Environmental Coalition's websitePlease make sure you include reference to the special roadless places on the White River National Forest that you like to visit. Most importantly, share personal experiences you’ve had in these places and why those experiences would be lost were roadless protections to be removed.


Points to make:

  • Call on the US Department of Agriculture/Forest Service to put its efforts to undo the 2001 Roadless Rule on hold until we really know how it's going to impact Colorado's wildlife and best backcountry forests.
  • Express your support the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which remains the law of the land, as providing appropriate protections for the White River National Forest’s roadless areas.
  • Oppose the draft Rule because:
    • The draft Colorado Rule would not protect roadless areas; rather it would allow or even encourage activities that would destroy the pristine values of these valuable areas.
    • With exceptions for every special interest lobby (logging, coal mining, oil and gas, grazing, ski areas, utilities, water developers) the Colorado Rule’s claim to protect Roadless areas are hollow indeed. Colorado roadless areas would be second class, having less protection than those in almost every other state. We deserve better.


Send your letter too:

Roadless Area Conservation—Colorado
P.O. Box 162909
Sacramento, CA 95816–2909

Email: COComments@fsroadless.org

Fax: 916–456–6724


Your comments must be postmarked, e-mailed or faxed no later than October 23.


Detailed points to use as a guide for your letter and at the Glenwood Open House:

- Ask the Forest Service to fully protect all of Colorado's roadless areas according to the 2001 roadless rule. The weaker protections contained in the proposed Colorado must be rejected. Protecting these last unspoiled natural areas is a responsible, common sense request to preserve our quality of life now, and for future generations.


- The draft Colorado Rule would allow unlimited logging to "improve" wildlife habitat, even though roadless areas are valuable precisely because they provide a refuge from human activities like logging. This provision is also in direct contradiction to Colorado’s Division of Wildlife whose field biologist unanimously supported full roadless protection with no exceptions. Ask that logging for wildlife provisions be removed


- Some roadless areas could have road construction and logging in large areas supposedly for fuel and fire hazard reduction, even in areas that are far away from homes where the projects would not truly protect lives and property but would simply be a windfall for the timber industry. Ask that fuel treatments be restricted to areas where they do the most good, in the “home ignition zone” where they do the most good.


- New electrical transmission lines and water pipelines could be constructed in roadless areas, permitting associated road construction to facilitate development of these utility corridors. Ask that there be no new exceptions for utilities.


- Roads, well pads and pipelines would be built for oil and gas leases that slipped through the cracks between the protections of the 2001 Rule and the date the Colorado Roadless Rule goes into effect. Ask that all post-2001 leases have strict no surface disturbance or occupancy stipulations.


- Ask that roadless areas overlapping with Ski Areas not be withdrawn from the roadless inventory.


For more information, please contact:

Sloan Shoemaker

Phone: 970-963-3977

Email: sloan@wildernessworkshop.org


For White River National Forest roadless area maps, CLICK HERE


Learn more about the roadless issue by visiting: www.roadless.net


Thank you for helping protect Colorado's Forest Legacy!!!

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