Governor’s Decision to Slow Colorado Roadless Rule-making Praised by Sportsmen

Governor’s Decision to Slow Colorado Roadless Rule-making Praised by Sportsmen
Extended timetable provides opportunity for revision of proposed management plan;
hunters and anglers stress need to resolve inconsistencies in draft rule.

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

WASHINGTON, DC – -( The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation partnership today praised an announcement by Gov. Bill Ritter to postpone finalization of the state’s roadless rule until additional revision and public comment could be obtained. Yet the sportsmen were quick to temper their approval with renewed calls for fundamental changes to the draft management plan.

The TRCP, a national hunting and fishing group, has led efforts by a diverse assemblage of conservation, sportsmen and recreational groups in requesting the extended timetable to resolve inconsistencies and loopholes in the draft Colorado roadless rule, which will determine the management of 4.4 million acres of national forest backcountry in the state.

“We appreciate Governor Ritter’s responsiveness to the views of sportsmen and the need to solve some significant problems with the draft Colorado roadless rule,” said Forrest Orswell, a TRCP field representative who lives in Fort Collins. “Now, the state must take advantage of this window of opportunity to eliminate loopholes allowing water projects and power-line corridors in valuable backcountry lands, as well as coal mining in the Currant Creek area.”

Roadless area conservation is resoundingly supported by a majority of Coloradans, with public comments on the state rule-making process generally requesting the strongest possible conservation measures in the Colorado rule. Organized sportsmen have been meeting with representatives from the state and U.S. Forest Service throughout the development of the rule and have expressed significant concerns about the ability of the proposed rule to conserve Colorado’s best remaining fish and wildlife habitat.

“In making this announcement, the governor cited a need to add ‘transparency and accountability’ to the Colorado rule-making process,” Orswell continued. “Sportsmen agree wholeheartedly with the necessity of such an approach, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with decision makers to ensure that the final Colorado roadless rule sustains our outdoor traditions and conserves our backcountry heritage.”

The state plans to issue a draft of its recommendations regarding the Colorado rule later this month. Additional public input will be sought during a subsequent 60-day comment period before final recommendations are sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Learn more about the TRCP’s work to safeguard America’s roadless areas.

Read “Backcountry Bounty: Colorado,” the TRCP’s report on roadless areas in Colorado and its recommendations for the Colorado roadless rule.

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions
of hunting and fishing.