A proposal to update the Colorado plan for managing national forest roadless areas isn’t finding friends among environmentalists and outdoor groups that want more protection, the Denver Post reports. Although the total protected acreage would increase slightly to nearly 4.2 million acres, the plan makes allows for road building for community wildfire protection plans, as well as for water supply, mining and power companies. Opponents said the plan leaves the door too wide open to road building.
In addition, the Pew Environment Group called on the Obama administration to throw out Colorado’s plan in favor of the 2001 Clinton administation Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which protected about 58.5 million acres nationwide. Pew claims the new Colorado plan is even less protective than the draft plan the state submitted in 2008 after months of public review and comment, the Colorado Independent reported.