Ritter slows down Bush roadless rule; conservationists cheer


Colorado’s successful effort to get the Bush administration to stop fast-tracking a proposed roadless rule for the management of 4.4 million acres of the state’s untrammeled backcountry is winning praise from public policy watchdog groups and conservationists.

The Colorado Independent disclosed last week that the U.S. Department of Agriculture hoped to publish the controversial Colorado roadless rule in the Federal Register by Jan. 16, four days before the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.

But late last week, Harris Sherman, director of the Department of Natural Resources, wrote a letter to the Department of Agriculture to request a delay in finalizing the roadless rule. On Friday, he announced the Bush administration agreed to hold off.