Roadless task force roster growing
A bipartisan state board set up to make recommendations on National Forest roadless areas gained two new members this week, with House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, making his choices for the roadless task force.Romanoff tabbed Eddie Kochman, of Northglenn, retired state aquatic manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and Steve Smith, of Glenwood Springs, assistant regional director of the Wilderness Society, as his picks for the panel.The task force will hold a series of meetings around the state before making a formal recommendation to Gov. Bill Owens as to the disposition of 4.4 million acres of land slated for roadless status under an earlier Forest Service decision.”These roadless lands are some of the wildest and most natural in our state, providing recreation, clean water and important wildlife habitat,” Smith said. “With so much at stake, this roadless review is a very important process and a very important opportunity for citizens to speak up for their public lands.”Kochman also emphasized the importance of roadless areas. “It is an absolute necessity to have roadless areas as a balance to the detrimental impacts of mining, livestock grazing, and timber harvest,” he said. The remaining seats on the task force include four appointed by the Governor, two appointed by the President of the Senate, two appointed by mutual consent by the previous three officers and one appointment each by the House and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairpersons. The Executive Director for the Department of Natural Resources will chair the task force. A schedule of meetings for the roadless task force has also been set, beginning Oct. 5 in Durango, Oct. 12 in Monte Vista, Oct. 26 in Pueblo, May 24 in Delta, June 7 in Glenwood Springs, June 21 in Fort Collins and June 26 in Steamboat Springs.
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