The first piece I’ll look at is this one in HCN- not for any particular reason, other than I was reading HCN and ran across it. Here’s the link.
Been wondering what’s new with the Clinton-era Roadless Area Conservation Rule? Well, being the inveterate wonks we are, we’ve got an update for you on the latest with this 2001 rule that banned most logging and road building (but not off-roading or mining) on 58.5 million acres of national forest.
But first, a bit of history: In 2004, Bush repealed the rule, but allowed states to develop their own forest-protection plans. Which meant that states had to petition the federal government to protect roadless areas within their boundaries, that residents of other states had no say in those petitions, and that each state could thus have a different set of rules. Idaho and Colorado quickly drafted proposals. Idaho’s regulations, approved in 2008, protect about 9 million acres and open 400,000 to road-building, logging and mining.
This February, a federal judge upheld Idaho’s rule after environmentalists charged that it would harm endangered caribou and grizzly bears. And last week, Colorado released a new draft of its proposal, which would protect most of its 4 million roadless acres but allow new transmission lines, logging to control pine beetles, temporary drilling and coal-mining roads, and energy development on roughly 100,000 acres. The plan is open for public comment until July 14.
As for Clinton’s original roadless rule, it was reinstated in 2006, but its legal status won’t be resolved until appeals of a 2008 injunction are decided, probably early this year.
that residents of other states had no say in those petitions
This is not entirely true, as public comment was open in Colorado and Idaho to everyone across the country, and national interest groups played a role. In addition, there was a national advisory committee (RACNAC) that the designer of this process, Mark Rey, intended to provide a balance, and national perspective to the state petitions. I know the RACNAC folks and I don’t know any who are shrinking violets when it comes to stating his or her opinion.
” Idaho and Colorado quickly drafted proposals.”
“Quick” is not an adjective that I would use about anything that involves federal rulemaking, and particularly not Colorado….having spent time with the Task Force that developed the petition, I would argue that a better adverb might be “laboriously.”
Idaho’s regulations, approved in 2008, protect about 9 million acres and open 400,000 to road-building, logging and mining.
I am only slowly learning about the Idaho rule, but what is interesting to me is that it appears that temporary roads can be built for fuels treatments in the Backcountry Restoration Theme (more than 400K acres), but it looks like roads are allowed for everything else but mining on the 400K. If this is not the case, I would appreciate some enlightening by those more familiar with Idaho.
which would protect most of its 4 million roadless acres but allow new transmission lines, logging to control pine beetles, temporary drilling and coal-mining roads, and energy development on roughly 100,000 acres.
New power transmission lines are also allowed in the 2001 Rule as long as you don’t build roads. The 2001 Rule is therefore the same as the proposed Colorado Rule with regard to powerlines.
The tree cutting allowed is for fuels treatment around communities and to protect municipal water supply systems from fire, Controlling pine beetles is not really possible in this part of the country.
Temporary drilling and coal-mining roads on roughly 100 K acres.
There are 20K acres in the North Fork Coal area, and there is no other energy development. Unless the author is thinking of the so-called gap leases, (this requires another post) which are not 80K so I don’t know where 100K comes from.
Next edition: the wonderful world of “gap” leases.