David A. Lien: State roadless rules flawed for hunters, anglers | SummitDaily.com

David A. Lien: State roadless rules flawed for hunters, anglers

David A. Lien, Chairman, Colorado
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Gov. Ritter recently submitted Colorado’s final roadless rule recommendations to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Unfortunately, these recommendations fail to correct the rule’s fundamental problems. If adopted as drafted, the rule would inadequately manage and jeopardize high-quality hunting and fishing in 4.2 million acres of Colorado’s roadless areas. That represents a loss that sportsmen are not prepared to accept.

Hunters and anglers throughout Colorado have offered input on the state rule throughout the rule-making process. With its latest recommendations, however, the state once again has neglected to address our primary concern: The Colorado rule falls short of implementing conservation measures specified in the 2001 national roadless rule.

As it now stands, the state proposed rule demonstrates little commitment to maintaining the characteristics that define our backcountry lands and make them so valuable to sportsmen seeking solitude and prime fish and wildlife habitat. Conserving these values should take precedence over most other management activities. The state rule also proposes aggressive logging deep into the backcountry to suppress insect or disease epidemics, which could degrade the backcountry hunting and fishing experience in lands we have used for generations.

Colorado’s backcountry lands must be managed at a level consistent with the national roadless rule. Anything less falls short of upholding our outdoor traditions and Western way of life.

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