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  Get Involved      Writing and Submitting Comments
     
Submitting Effective Comments

 

For more information, see the          Forest Service Web site for             the Colorado Roadless Rule

 

Do More!

    Tips for writing effective letters to the editor

 

 

For more information:

Rocky Smith
Colorado Wild
303.893.5900

How to submit comments

Tips for writing effective comments

General talking points

 

Submitting Comments
If you are unable to attend the public hearing in your area, please submit comments in support of roadless protection through the Colorado Environmental Coalition's website by e-mail to: COComments@fsroadless.org or visit http://www.regulations.gov or mail to:

Roadless Area Conservation—Colorado
P.O. Box 162909
Sacramento, CA 95816–2909

 

or faxed to 916–456–6724

   

Writing Comments

The Forest Service is requesting comments about the National Forest Roadless Areas you treasure. They are asking for citizens to explain how they use these special places, and what it is they value about them. Below we have provided some important facts about roadless areas and how they benefit all Coloradans and about how portions of the draft Rule that would allow, if not encourage, destruction of roadless characteristics. More information about specific roadless areas are available here. When submitting comments feel free to use the talking points below, but remember that your personal experiences and values are the most important information you can provide the Forest Service. We urge you to take the time to add your personal comments or reflections about specific roadless areas, and the activities you typically enjoy in them — it will make your comments far more effective.

Main Message
As a Coloradan from [your town/city], I ask the Forest Service to fully protect all of Colorado’s roadless areas according to the 2001 roadless rule. The weaker protections specific to the roadless areas in Colorado must be rejected. Protecting these last unspoiled natural areas is a responsible, common sense request to preserve our quality of life now, and for future generations.

Specific Points to Raise about the Draft Colorado Roadless Rule

Mention and strongly oppose any or all of the following draft Rule provisions in your letter:

  • The draft Rule would allow unlimited logging to "improve" wildlife habitat, even though roadless areas are valuable precisely because they provide a refuge from human activities like logging.
  • Some roadless areas could have road construction and logging in large areas supposedly for fuel and fire hazard reduction, even in areas that are far away from homes where the projects would not truly protect lives and property.
  • New electrical transmission lines and water pipelines could be constructed in roadless areas, along with roads to access construction sites.
  • Roads, well pads and pipelines would be built for oil and gas leases issues after the date of the 2001 Rule but before a Colorado Roadless Rule becomes effective.

Background

 

Important Benefits of Roadless Areas

  • Roadless areas are the last unspoiled parts of Colorado’s national forests. These natural areas offer the best of Colorado’s great outdoors, where our families experience solitude, participate in healthy recreation, and enjoy the beauty of Nature.
  • These lands offer some of the best hunting, fishing, hiking, backcountry skiing, solitude, and freedom left in Colorado. Keeping them as they are now lets us continue enjoying the outdoor activities we enjoy, making our communities economically stable. More roads in these areas will serve to degrade a valuable and irreplaceable resource, and provide only short-term gains at best. Conserving our last unspoiled areas allows us to pass our outdoor traditions to future generations.
  • Roadless areas provide the clean water that Coloradans need for drinking, farming, ranching, fishing, boating, and other uses. Opening Colorado’s roadless areas to oil and gas exploration rigs, mining, and timber cutting can pollute the crystal clear streams that are so critical for people and wildlife in our arid state.
  • Roadless areas temper the intensity of wildfire by providing a space where fire is allowed to fulfill its natural role.  Heavily roaded areas are generally at higher risk of more frequent and more severe wildfire than roadless areas.
  • Ecologists and wildlife managers suggest that a full range of ecological communities and elevation ranges should be protected; currently, about 70% of Colorado’s well-protected lands lie at above 10,000 feet. Many of the roadless areas in the Pike-San Isabel National Forest consist of these under-represented lower elevations.

More general information on the importance of roadless areas to Colorado
More information about specific roadless areas

  

Wildlife Facts

  • Many of the state’s native wildlife species (including elk, deer, black bear, lynx, and trout) rely on these havens for habitat, migration, and survival. Many at-risk species depend on large tracts of unbroken habitat, and exhibit road avoidance or rely on remoteness from human activity as a key habitat characteristic
  • Elk populations decline with increased road density. Research has found that two miles of roads per square mile reduces elk populations by 50%, while six miles of roads per square mile virtually eradicates elk populations.
  • Hunters and anglers cherish the solitude and freedom these areas provide. Recreational users come from far and wide to enjoy our local undeveloped areas, attesting to the allure of these special places, and supporting local outfitting and other aspects of our local economy.
  • Large, unbroken tracts of undisturbed habitat have been critical to the successful re-introduction of the endangered Canada lynx in Colorado, and roadless areas provide the diversity of ecosystems needed for shorter-ranging species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, including at-risk species such as the boreal toad.

  More information on roadless areas’ importance to wildlife 

 

 Economic Facts

  • Colorado’s roadless areas provide resources that sustain traditional industries and help maintain the unique culture of the Rocky Mountain West. More than 2.5 million tourists and numerous new businesses and residents come to Colorado each year to enjoy Colorado's outstanding public wild lands.
  • In 2004, almost $2.3 billion was spent in Colorado by hunters, anglers, and wildlife watchers alone, and spending on outdoor equipment and gear totaled $1.3 billion in that same year.
  • Logging and wood products industries contribute less than one percent to the state's pool of jobs.
  • In Colorado, the Forest Service already has a $163 million backlog of road maintenance and road-related restoration projects.

  More information on roadless areas’ importance to our economy