Here’s the link.
Praises Locally-Driven and Collaborative Public Process
Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Last week, Mark Udall sent a letter to President Obama urging him to quickly approve a Colorado Roadless Rule that has been under development since 2005 in order to alleviate uncertainty for communities and businesses. A thorough, locally-driven public process took into consideration hundreds of thousands of public comments to produce a rule that protects 4.2 million acres of Colorado backcountry. These National Forest lands are storehouses for clean water and protecting them also ensures that skiers and hikers have beautiful vistas, anglers have clean streams in which to fish, and hunters have healthy big-game herds. These resources attract visitors from all over the nation and world and are a critical component of our quality of life.
“Coloradans can and should be proud of this process; hard work, compromise and dedication to transparency produced a compromise in which almost no party got everything it wanted, but nearly all have agreed is fair. I believe this collaborative work deserves recognition,” Udall wrote in the letter. ”Delays in the adoption of a Colorado Roadless Rule have led to confusion and uncertainty and I urge its approval as soon as possible.”
The Colorado Roadless Rule was developed in an open and transparent process by Coloradans from a wide range of backgrounds including state and local elected officials, representatives from the ski industry, and the ranching, water law, forest management and environmental communities. The Rule protects 4.2 million acres while allowing some limited flexibility based on legitimate needs, such as to address forest-fire threats and insect infestations near certain communities, to accommodate ski area management, to continue underground coal production in the North Fork coal mining area, and to access and maintain water and utility corridors. However, because of a recent 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, some have urged the president to set aside this extensive public process and instead impose a federal rule. A swift approval of the Colorado Roadless Rule will acknowledge the collaborative work that has been underway since 2005, and provide certainty for our land managers, small businesses and the public.
Here’s a link to the letter.