Roadless task force recommendations available soon | PostIndependent.com

Roadless task force recommendations available soon

Bobby MagillPost Independent Staff

The Colorado Roadless Area Review Task Force met in Denver Wednesday to iron out draft recommendations to Gov. Bill Owens about how more than 4 million acres of roadless areas in Colorado national forests should be managed. Based on public comment mostly gathered at nine public meetings held throughout Colorado, including a June 21 meeting in Glenwood Springs, the task force will recommend to Gov. Bill Owens in September how land within roadless areas should be managed. Owens will in turn make a recommendation to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which will have the final say about roadless area management in all of its national forests. The results of the task force’s deliberations on Wednesday will be made public soon through the Keystone Center. Keystone program coordinator Helen Littrell said Wednesday afternoon that “tomorrow, we’ll have a better idea” when the task force’s draft recommendations will be available. The public will have until Aug. 15 to comment.Colorado has 4.43 million acres of roadless land in the state’s national forests, 640,000 acres of which are in the White River National Forest. Most of the WRNF’s roadless areas lie north of Reudi Reservoir, south of Rifle in the Mamm Peaks area, and surrounding designated wilderness areas including the Flat Tops, Maroon Bells-Snowmass, Hunter-Fryingpan and Holy Cross. Every municipality in Garfield County between Silt and Aspen and Pitkin and Eagle counties have passed ordinances supporting the preservation of roadless areas. The Garfield County Commission just last week expressed interest in addressing the roadless issue. Commissioner Trési Houpt said she wants the Commission to support the preservation of roadless areas, but Commissioner Larry McCown said he’s worried protecting roadless areas will make timber and other natural resources off-limits to extraction. Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext. 520bmagill@postindependent.com


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