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Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman Continues Successfully Defending Colorado’s Interests in Managing Public Lands

DENVER -- Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman announces the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the Colorado Roadless Rule in a case in which Attorney General Coffman represented the State of Colorado as a friend of the court. The Rule was the result of a six-year cooperative rulemaking process between the United States Forest Service and the State of Colorado. The result was a rule that protects over 4 million acres of pristine “roadless” areas and provides heightened protection for over a million acres of land for the benefit of the citizens of Colorado. At the same time, the Rule respects existing ski area development plans, protects water supply infrastructure, and allows the State to engage in responsible land stewardship to mitigate the risk of wildfires in mountain communities.

“The Colorado Roadless Rule is a good example of cooperative government,” said Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman. “The court rightly recognized that it is appropriate—and perfectly lawful—for Coloradans to have a voice in how public lands in our State are managed.”
Two environmental groups, as well as two individuals, challenged the Rule, asking the Court to overturn the Forest Service’s decision to allow the Aspen Skiing Company to construct a trail within the Snowmass ski area’s existing permit boundary. In upholding the Rule, the Court of Appeals found that it was appropriate for the Forest Service to heed Colorado’s desire in determining how to manage land within national forest boundaries.
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