Debate on Colorado roadless plan continues

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Denver (AP) - Environmentalists say a federal appeals court decision reinstating most of a 2001 federal policy protecting roadless forests across the country means Colorado doesn't need its own management plan for the backcountry.

Critics of Colorado's plan to protect nearly 4.2 million acres of roadless areas in national forests say it is weaker than a 2001 policy approved by the Clinton Administration.

Gov. Bill Ritter says a state roadless plan is an insurance policy while court battles continue.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday reinstated most of the 2001 rule protecting about 58 million acres of roadless forest.

But Mike King of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources says he's not sure it applies in Colorado because of a conflicting ruling by a federal judge in Wyoming.

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