Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Which way will roadless go?

Colorado's 4.1 million acres of unprotected road-less federal land have been in a tug of war for years, and according to the Gazette, it's not about to stop.
In 2001, the outgoing Clinton administration banned logging and other development on 58.5 million acres in national forests nationwide, including the 4.1 million in Colorado.
The Bush administration voided the rule, which it lambasted the deal as heavy-handed federal bullying, and said the states should decided what gets done with the land. Colorado governor Bill Owens put together a diverse pannel of locals to draw up a plan. The plan they submitted in 2006 and he approved ultimately protected the vast majority of the land from developement.
In September, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Laporte in San Francisco reinstated the Clinton-era rule. Gov. Bill Ritter still submitted the Colorado plan.
So what to do now?
A top federal official says roadless land will remain off-limits to most development while state and federal land managers develop rules to manage the areas.
How long that process will take is unclear. I'm thinking George Bush won't be around anymore when it's finally settled.

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