02/21/2012 - Colorado officials are making an intense final push to establish their own rule for managing the last roadless national forests in the state.
It would allow some roads for industrial development — including the expansion of coal mining and ski resorts — and for removal of beetle-killed trees near communities.
Conservationists say this is intolerable kowtowing to special interests.
The Pew Environment Group in Washington, leading opposition to the state rule, contends that "the court's action eliminates the need for the administration to pursue a separate policy in Colorado," public-lands-program director Jane Danowitz said.
"The Colorado plan would open up a majority of the state's best backcountry to coal mining, drilling and other large-scale activity," Danowitz said. "Without the (national) roadless rule, protection of these areas would be left to the patchwork management system that has resulted in millions of acres lost to industrial development."
Read the full article, Colorado Officials Push for Forest-Road Rule, on the Denver Post's Web site.