Forest Service to explain bans

Officials to present information about proposed roadless rules

The U.S. Forest Service will hold a meeting Wednesday in Durango to present aspects of the proposed Colorado Roadless Rule and the Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

The meeting is intended to increase public understanding about the proposed rule, explain how input gathered from the public was incorporated into the rule and respond to questions from the public, according to a Forest Service news release.

The meeting will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Durango Community Recreation Center.

The rule bans road-building or tree cutting on nearly 4.2 million acres of national forests in Colorado. It contains exceptions for tree-thinning to prevent wildfires, ski area expansions and coal mines near Paonia.

“Forest officials from Denver will be on hand to discuss the overall state rule,” said Ann Bond, spokeswoman for the San Juan Public Lands Center. “Local San Juan National Forest officials will be on hand to discuss how those statewide measures will affect the San Juan National Forest.”

Wednesday’s meeting is designed to help attendees develop informed written comments, the release said. Oral comments will not be taken at the meeting, and the Forest Service will not record the meetings for inclusion in the rule-making record.

Those who wish to provide comments for the record will need to submit them in writing and will have the opportunity to do so at the meeting.

The deadline for written comments on the proposed rule and EIS is July 14. Comments can be submitted online at www.regula tions.gov.

Comments also may be emailed to COComments@fsroadless.org, via mail to Colorado Roadless Rule/EIS, P.O. Box 1919, Sacramento, CA 95812, or by phone at (916) 456-6724.

shane@durango herald.com