Feds open environmental analysis of Colorado roadless forests | AspenTimes.com

Feds open environmental analysis of Colorado roadless forests

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” The U.S. Forest Service is starting work on rules for managing some 4 million acres of undeveloped land in national forests across Colorado.

The Forest Service will prepare an environmental impact statement on a plan written by a state task force and submitted by Gov. Bill Ritter.

The proposal would keep most of the 4.1 million acres of roadless forest land off-limits to development. Exceptions would be allowed for logging, for treatment to prevent fires and fight bark-beetle infestations, and to allow a coal mine in western Colorado to continue operations.

Environmentalists, hunting and angling groups want Colorado to withdraw its plan, saying it doesn’t offer as much protection as a Clinton-era rule. That rule that was replaced by the Bush administration and then revived when a federal judge overturned the Bush administration’s rule.