Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Clinton-era Environmental Rules Increased Wildfire Risks in Colorado

Posted by Aaron Gardner (Diary)

Environmental regulations restricting the construction of forest access roads have limited the ability of the Forest Service to clear combustible brush and trees, adding dangerous fuel to the wildfires that have ravaged Colorado this summer. The so-called “roadless rule,” which was first implemented in 2001 by President Clinton shortly before he left office, restricts and in many cases prohibits local and federal officials from building and maintaining roads that allow firefighters to clear out growth that could instantly become tinder for a new fire.

The Roadless Area Conservation Rule, regularly referred to as the 2001 roadless rule, was adopted in January of 2001 and classified 31 percent of national forest lands in Colorado as Inventoried Roadless Areas (IRA’s). Four of the national forests that fell under the IRA classification did so based on inventories from 1979, four more were classified as IRA’s based on inventories from 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2002.

Read More Via Red State

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