Tag: Colorado roadless rule

Forest Service sets public meetings for North Fork coal mining plans

Plan could unleash 36.6 billion tons of greenhouse gases

A federal judge ordered the U.S. Forest Service to disclose greenhouse gas emissions from a proposed coal mining project in Colorado.

Staff Report

The public will have a chance to weigh in on a U.S. Forest Service proposal to expand coal-mining on public lands in south-central Colorado at two public hearings, Dec. 7 in Paonia and Dec. 9 in Denver.

At issue is a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Colorado Roadless Rule released November 20. The study addresses a recent court ruling that blocked the coal mining expansion in the North Fork Valley, near Paonia, pending more analysis and disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions associated extracting and burning the coal. Continue reading “Forest Service sets public meetings for North Fork coal mining plans”


U.S. Forest Service moves toward permitting more coal mining in Colorado’s North Fork Valley

Roadless rule exemption at issue in federal permitting process

A U.S. Forest Service proposal to permit more coal mining in Colorado would unleash huge amounts of heat-trapping greenhouse gas pollution.

Staff Report

The U.S. Forest Service wants to update a public lands rule that would re-open the door for new coal mining on about 20,000 acres in south-central Colorado’s North Fork Valley, near Paonia. The agency this week posted a federal register notice seeking comment on a proposal to reinstate the North Fork Coal Mining Area exception to the Colorado Roadless Rule.

The proposal comes about a year after a federal court set aside the exemption after finding that the Forest Service failed to disclose greenhouse gas emissions associated with potential mine operations and the combustion of coal from the area. Find the federal register notice and information on commenting here. Continue reading “U.S. Forest Service moves toward permitting more coal mining in Colorado’s North Fork Valley”

Colorado: Forest Service challenged anew over approval of a coal mine expansion in roadless area

Beaver ponds in the Sunset roadless area. Photo courtesy Earthjustice.

Showdown over West Elk coal mine could be a test for Colorado roadless rule

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — A long-running battle over a coal mine expansion in a national forest roadless area continues, as conservation groups this week challenged U.S. Forest Service approval of a coal mine expansion 10 miles east of Paonia.

According to Earthjustice, the mine project could ultimately result in construction more than six miles of roads, along with 48 natural gas drilling pads within the Sunset roadless area, one of the areas exempted from a road-building ban under a newly adopted roadless rule for national forest lands in Colorado.

“The Sunset Roadless Area is real gem, a beautiful forest of aspen and giant spruce, beaver lodges and meadows, a home for elk and bear,” said Ted Zukoski, staff attorney for Earthjustice, the public interest environmental law firm representing the groups.  “This is a place the Forest Service should be protecting for all Coloradoans, not sacrificing to appease special interests.” Continue reading “Colorado: Forest Service challenged anew over approval of a coal mine expansion in roadless area”

Colorado roadless rule details revealed

Some lands with high conservation values get strong protection, other areas remain vulnerable

Click on the image to view all the maps of Colorado roadless areas.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — After months of negotiation, state and federal leaders this week said they’ve reached agreement on a plan that “addresses the needs of Colorado’s unique and precious roadless areas.”

“We are committed to the protection of roadless areas on our national forests, areas vital for conservation of water resources, wildlife and for outdoor recreation,” Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a release. “These areas also provide an important driver of economic opportunity and jobs in rural Colorado communities.”

“The Forest Service cares deeply about protecting Colorado’s roadless areas,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “Through collaboration, I believe we have developed a proposal that will afford better, lasting protection to these treasured areas, and we welcome additional comments in order to develop a successful approach for conservation of this special resource.” Continue reading “Colorado roadless rule details revealed”

Mountain News Roundup

The great crested newt holds up Europe’s largest indoor ski facility, Race Across the Sky, and a rare find in remote Utah mountains


By Summit Voice

Great crested newts face off against SnOasis in Suffolk, England

The SnOasis indoor sports facility, which is planned to have a ski slope and bobsled track among its attractions, is already seven years behind schedule. The company building the facility has yet to secure a license to re-locate the great crested newt colony that makes its home in the quarry where the facility is to be built. There has been lots of local opposition to the planned development, but if it goes forward, it will be Europe’s largest indoor snow facility.

Read more of this story at PlanetSKI.

Leadville 100 qualifying races to culminate with Alpine Odyssey in Crested Butte

“This is an incredible match to have Mt. Crested Butte host the final qualifier for the Leadville 100, one of the iconic events in mountain biking,” said Ken Stone, chief operating officer, Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

The three qualifying races will each provide 100 spots to the Leadville 100, the best known and most prestigious mountain bike race in North America. The spots will be allocated partially on the basis of age-group performance and partly by lottery among finishers. The first qualifier is the Wilmington/Whiteface 100K in Wilmington, New York on June 19. The second qualifier, the Lake Tahoe Trail 100K, happens on July 10, and the final qualifier will be the Crested Butte Alpine Odyssey on July 31.

Get the full scoop at the Leadville Qualifying Series website. Registration is still open for interested participants.

Continue reading “Mountain News Roundup”

Colorado petitions feds for roadless plan

A state-based roadless plan would protect about 4.2 million acres from development. Click on the map for a larger version.

Future management of 4.2 million acres of roadless national forest land at stake in proposal

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter today petitioned the federal government to adopt a state-based plan for the future management of 4.2 million acres of roadless national forest lands in the state.

Management of the inventoried roadless areas, including about 60,000 acres in Summit County, has been in question since the U.S. Forest Service introduced a national rule in 2001 that was later rescinded, revised and challenged in two different federal court jurisdictions.

For a list and maps of the roadless areas in Summit County, click here. Visit the U.S. Forest Service national roadless rule web site here. Continue reading “Colorado petitions feds for roadless plan”