May 2, 2012
On May 2, 2012, 7 years after the process began, the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Colorado Roadless Rule was released and announced by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Governor John Hickenlooper. "It provides conservation for 4.2 million acres in Colorado's national forests." Of that acreage, 1.2 million will have greater protection. CWF supports the rule, while stating that some tweaks are needed during the final 30-day process. CWF's executive director said in a press release today, "Coloradoans have worked together for six years to strengthen and improve the Colorado Roadless Rule for the benefit of of the state's outdoor heritage. As a result the rule is greatly improved from the drafts, and we look forward to, on balance, a successful end product." CWF believes that the increased flexibilty for communities to be protected from catastrophic wildfires was an important aspect that was worked out during the last 3 years. However, CWF will remain involved with others to address remaining concerns with the rule such as some energy leases that were issued with questionable stipulations, and inadequate protection for cutthroat trout streams. The Colorado Roadless Rule and the Idaho rule are the only state-based roadless rules. The Final EIS is posted on the Forest Service website.