Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ensuring Colorado's Roadless areas

Last year a task force appointed by Governor Owens recommended that the State's 4.1 million acres of roadless federal land remain roadless. The recommendation was sent off to Washington, where it is grinding now through the sausage factory that is representative government. Meanwhile, as it stands, roads can continue to be cut for timber or energy extraction, or just about anything else.
Wednesday, Gov. Bill Ritter told the Agriculture Department and the U.S. Forest Service that he wants interim protection for Colorado's roadless areas while the federal government reviews whether to keep wilderness-style protections for the lands. He called it an "insurance policy."
To read the full news story, click here.


Anonymous said...

The Roadless Initiative the Clinton implemented is BS!!! This move locks out all recreational activities in OUR National Forest. I support Wilderness Areas where appropriate and recreation where appropriate. The process to define "roadless" areas was very flawed based on the results. There are many areas with recreational trails or roads to a trail head. This initiative closes all of that for mountain bikes, horses, OHV's all but feet and wild life. This issue should be considered by those who use the areas, not politicians that have never been to Colorado!

Dave Philipps said...

Umm, hello? Mr. Shrill?
This is an initiative that was created by a local non-partisan citizen's panel. We can debate roadless area merits, but don't blame Washington.

clarityseeker said...

Pardon me, I think you meant to use the word, ensure, in your title.
Please reconsider.

zen said...

Anonymous, you are so very wrong. So very, very wrong.

Let's get things straight...

Roadless areas are not off limits to horses. They are not off limits to mountain bikes. They are not off limits to snowmobiles or trail bikes (aka motorcycles) for that matter.

Roadless areas are NOT wilderness. They are not governed by the Wilderness Act.

Nor are they off limits to mechanized devices like chainsaws (which are banned in wilderness). Helicopter logging is allowed. Thinning operations where appropriate are allowed.

What is not allowed is road building, simple as that. Please get your facts straight before you spout off. You could have saved us both some time.

zen said...

Actually, Dave ... I think you had it right. Ritter called it an "insurance policy", you used the word "insuring". Made sense to me.

John said...

Mr Phillips & Zen, you may both be right that I am not fully informed. However, your tact of "informing" me is less than ideal. I think it is positive to have a discussion and learn where my/our facts may be wrong, but bashing me and other people isn't the way to foster comuunication & collaboration. This is why interest groups can't seem to come to logical compromises and instead use the courts.

Having said that, I understand that roadless areas aren't closed to use, you are right I mis-spoke. However what I have seen is that once an area is designated Roadless (even though it has double tracks and single track) it has the potential to be designated wilderness. Also, my understanding is that President Clinton implemented the Roadless Initiative in his last days of office so save us from ourselves, thus it wasn't a local initiative. I have been participating in the recent Forest Service Travel Management Plan, which Bush implemented in place of the Roadless initiative (which recently was thrown out by a Federal judge thowing the FS into a tail spin). Please inform me if I am incorrect in this understanding.

I am a native to Manitou and my local trails are very importatn to me and my family for hiking, mountain biking and motorcycling. I want to maintain access to the places I have enjoyed for years. I also am a memeber of many local groups that do trail maintenance etc. Thus if you have any suggestions to help me get my facts right, I am open. Please, no more bashing, that just creates anger. BTW - I realize I bashed the fed's and consider this acceptable as I'm pretty sure they are not reading this blog. Yes a double standard, but to me, slightly acceptable. Thanks for listening.

John said...

BTW - this is one of the first times I have written to a blog, so please forgive me for my non-tech ignorance of how to properly post.

Dave Philipps said...

I've been very proud of this blog for generally shrugging off the normally mean tone of most on-line chatter. I hope we can keep it that way, and, John, I appologize if I was a tad flippent.