Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A roadless tug-o-war

Above: Colorado's National Forest, where much of the state's roadlessness resides.

The Associated Press reported today that Colorado's Roadless Area Task Force may change its final recommendations concerning the state's 4.1 million acres of roadless public land after hearing from people who believe the panel gave too much ground to development advocates.

The first report recommended preserving most roadless areas, but not in already active mining areas, such as a large coal mining operation in the Mesa-Uncompahgre-Gunnison National Forest. Now some task force members are suggesting to revise the recommendations because a majority of people on the task force were against the mining provision.

That could happen in the next few weeks.

Either way, the recommendations made by the task force keep the vast majority of the roadless areas roadless. The recommendations still have to be approved by the governor and sent to the federal government by November. The recommendations are not legally binding. The federal government can ignore them. We'll see what happens.

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