Colorado roadless rule protects land, industry

Posted: Apr 21, 2011

Written by

The Denver Post

After nearly six years of debate, Colorado officials have released what we find to be a smart plan to block roads on nearly 4.2 million acres of national forest here.

The Colorado roadless rule, initiated by Gov. Bill Owens in 2005 and modified by Gov. Bill Ritter, would replace current federal policy, which is tied up in the courts.

The strength of the state rule is that it customizes forest management in a way that no federal policy ever could, and places specific attention on current concerns. It balances industry interests with efforts to keep nearly one-half (when combined with wilderness areas) of the state's land pristine. Plus, the rule would protect those acres now, as legal battles create an uncertain future for the national policy.

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