We’re having déjà vu all over again.
The federal government proposed in May to shut down 1,400 miles of public trails in the Grand Junction area. Now the Forest Service is looking to close off an untold number of roads and trails in the San Juan National Forest this year.
It reminds us of the Clinton administration’s controversial roadless rule, which closed down 59 million acres of national forest roads to
save the planet block energy development and recreational opportunities.
The Bush administration repeatedly tried to overturn that plan by giving states the individual right to designate their own roadless areas, but after a decade-long court battle, those efforts were defeated.
Bam! Defacto Wilderness areas.
It appears that these plans to shut down thousands of miles of trails in Colorado are also cloaked wilderness designations that mimic Clinton’s roadless measure with the same consequences in mind – block energy development and timber projects at all costs. If recreational opportunities get swept aside in the process, so be it.
Supporting these efforts will be the so-called “hunting and angling” groups that are in fact environmental organizations that were created to close off public lands under the false flag of conservative support.
This time, the Forest Service is going so far as to draw up an environmental impact statement for the San Juan Forest that will be released later this summer, with only one public hearing scheduled and a limited 45-day comment period for the public to voice their concerns. The final closures will be determined by the end of the year.
It’s obvious by some of the comments already collected that the enviro “hunters and anglers” are already organized:
“Illegal motorized use is one of the largest fishery impacts in this area,” a writer stated.
Another said ATV use on Black Mesa “causes elk to leave the area and spoils hunting.”
Noise from motorized users is bad for anglers.
Unless forest users get as organized as the environmentalists, expect to see the same result as the Clinton roadless rule.