Forest plan full of holes, critics say

Foes believe roadless-area rules could open 300,000 acres to development.

By Mark Jaffe The Denver Post

Sportsmen's groups are pressuring Gov. Bill Ritter not to sign off on a soon-to-be-proposed rule regulating roadless areas in national forests.

The rule, negotiated by the Ritter administration and the U.S. Forest Service, is expected to protect about 4.1 million acres but potentially open 300,000 acres to development, according to a consortium of conservation groups.

"Ritter tried to make the best of it, but it was already a flawed process," said Dave Peterson, Colorado field director with Trout Unlimited and a member of the task force.