Wilderness Groups Pressure Colorado Governor on Colorado Roadless Rule
The ups and downs of the Colorado Roadless Rule (CRR) process stretching over 3 years are close to producing a tangible result. COHVCO, Colorado Trail Preservation Alliance and the BlueRibbon Coalition have followed this process - with a magnifying glass - and have done an excellent job of protecting motorized interests.
Recently, radical environmental groups have put pressure on Colorado Governor Ritter to make changes in the Rule, despite that fact that it was crafted using over 100,000 comments from individuals and organizations, and hundreds of public meetings around the State. The fact that the Colorado Rule enjoys support from a wide range of stakeholders across Colorado won't stop the Wilderness activist from trying to slip in a back-room deal during the change of Administrations.
In October, I attended a meeting of the Roadless Area Conservation National Advisory Committee (RACNAC) in Salt Lake City. It was my impression that the environmental community may have been buying time, hoping to stop the Colorado Rule in the event that Senator Obama was elected President. My impression seems to have been proven correct, as there has been a recent notice of an extension that allows the next administration to "review" the CRR. The Governor's representatives to that meeting strongly supported the Colorado Rule.
Of further concern is that the motorized public cannot, at this time, support the specific language of the Final Rule because we don't have it yet. This creates the difficult situation of not being able to weigh in directly upon the argument except to support the proposed Rule, which we have already done.
At the moment the key is the Governor's Office. The Governor has thus far held fast to his original commitment to the Final Rule. Frankly, it is difficult to imagine any Governor taking hundreds of hours of public meetings, and thousands upon thousands of public comments, and throwing them out the window. But the radical Wilderness groups are well funded and have some new friends in Washington D.C., so we will need to watch the situation very closely.
The Wilderness groups' real desire is to have every single acre in every single Roadless Area designated Wilderness. With so many Colorado players leaning in the next administration toward green, there are legitimate concerns about the future of Roadless in Colorado.
This is an issue and COHVCO, TPA and BRC need your direct action and also financial support to keep this going. Whatever happens we intend to fight to protect motorized recreation in Roadless Areas at very level.
If you wish, you can send an email to the Governor via the link below. Tell the Governor that you support the Colorado Roadless Rule as proposed. Ask the Governor to reject calls from radical environmentalists to re-consider the Colorado Roadless Rule, which was developed in an open, public process and enjoys wide support from across Colorado. http://www.colorado.gov/apps/oit/governor/citizen/assistanceUtility/shareOpinionGovOffice.jsf
Also look for an update in the mail asking for your help on this critical issue that impacts over 4 million acres of national Forest in Colorado.
Jerry Abboud, Executive Director, COHVCO