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April 11, 2007

Dave Bard,

Statement of Robert C. Vandermark, Director, Heritage Forests Campaign,

On the Submission of Colorado's Roadless Petition

Washington, D.C. Governor Ritter today submitted recommendations to the U.S. Forest Service for the management of roadless areas in Colorado.

"Given the Bush administration's lack of support for the 2001 rule, Governor Ritter thinks his state's roadless petition is a good 'insurance policy.' But his 'insurance policy' is outdated and protects less than what's currently covered.

"Every good insurance policy holder knows that you need to update your plan to reflect new circumstances. Both the legal and political environments have changed significantly since the state developed its first petition. Resubmitting the old petition with minor modifications ignores what is needed now to best protect the national forests in Colorado.

"The 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule has been reaffirmed as the law of the land and it's the best way to ensure protection for our last wild forests. Despite what Governor Ritter may say, his state-specific roadless petition is not only unnecessary, but it aims too low in terms of protecting Colorado's roadless areas."

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