By opposing the federal wilderness bill, many people think that it will end up undoing six years of work that was done on the Colorado Roadless Rule. The 2001 Clinton Roadless Rule, which got tossed out by the Bush administration, would be similar to the Colorado Roadless Rule formed by former Republican Colorado Gov. Bill Owens except it would have moreroad-building exemptions for logging, ski area development and natural gas drilling. Later Bush’s Interior Department permitted states to petition for their own rules for governing management of federal lands within their borders. Colorado and Idaho were the only two states that went that route. Years of stakeholder involvement are going to be wasted if this is passed because the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act could eliminate the Colorado Roadless Rule. Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette is opposing the Colorado Roadless Rule because she believes that it lets numerous exemptions for road building and its future development. Also the EPA is uncertain about the Colorado Rule because they didn’t agree with the draft that was put together last spring. Both in Colorado and nationally the legislation is trying to remove years of stakeholder involvement because it would reduce Colorado’s rural economies, along with its outdoor way of life.
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