Forest fire

News AASHTO Journal April 12, 2001
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Three western states have joined in formal opposition to former President Bill Clinton's roadless forest initiative, which bars

Three western states have joined in formal opposition to former President Bill Clinton's roadless forest initiative, which bars logging, mining and energy exploration on 60 million acres of land nationwide, the Denver Post reports.


Idaho and Alaska have filed suit seeking injunctions against the Roadless Area Conservation Initiative, and Colorado officials have formally moved to support the Idaho effort and are considering filing a separate Colorado lawsuit.


In a March 28 brief aimed at delaying the May 12 implementation date for rules supporting the initiative, Colorado Gov. Bill Owens said his state faces "irreparable harm" because the roadbuilding restrictions could restrict development of state-owned lands dedicated to the benefit of schools and hamper firefighting efforts. Owens alleges the U.S. Forest Service failed to follow guidelines and permit adequate comment in the rulemaking process.


Members of some environmental groups take exception to Owens' assertion that opportunities for input were not offered. The Forest Service held 600 public meetings--27 in Colorado--and fielded 1.6 million comments before the rules were promulgated, they said.



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