E-mail letters, April 13, 2010

‘History Here and Now’
prompts enjoyment, trips

I enjoy reading every “History Here and Now,” written by Kathy Jordan.  Every week I drive by the locations that she writes about to see where the history took place.
I’m looking forward to next Friday’s story.
Linda Roush

Latest state Roadless Rule
still weak in protecting forest

As a Colorado sportsman and former member of the Colorado Roadless Task Force, I can say with sadness but confidence that the proposed Colorado Roadless Rule, as recently submitted to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and praised by that office, continues to fall markedly short of adequately conserving our state’s more than 4 million acres of non-wilderness yet unspoiled backcountry.

While Gov. Bill Ritter’s recommendations include some needed improvements, this “final” proposal contains the same fundamental flaws as past drafts of this tenaciously wrong-headed rule.
Among the proposed state rule’s most egregious problems is the basic lack of commitment by the state to maintain and improve roadless area characteristics — clean water, natural landscapes and high-quality fish and wildlife habitat. This omission, over time, predictably will seriously degrade the Colorado backcountry hunting and fishing experience.

The proposed Colorado rule would also allow aggressive logging operations in the backcountry in the name of disease and insect suppression. Additional loopholes would allow construction of power-line corridors and water projects in remote roadless areas, eliminating the opportunities for solitude and eroding or destroying the prime fish and wildlife habitat these places currently provide. These types of development show little regard for Colorado’s outdoor heritage.

Citizens who care about our public lands and the outdoor traditions they foster should urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support only those management rules for Colorado’s roadless areas that meet or exceed the standards set by the 2001 federal roadless rule. Anything less is a shameless selling-out of Colorado’s share of America’s long-term national pride and sanity for short-term economic gain.
David Petersen


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