The Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service announced an 11-day comment period extension for the proposed reinstatement of the North Fork Coal Mining Area exception of the Colorado Roadless Rule.
The 45-day comment period, which began on Nov. 20, was scheduled to end on Jan. 4. The extension gives interested individuals and groups the opportunity to provide comments until Jan. 15. The Department of Agriculture and Forest Service received requests for an extension due to the holidays. The publication of this extension in the Federal Register is pending.
The Colorado Roadless Rule is a state-specific rule that provides direction for conserving and managing approximately 4.2 million acres of Colorado roadless areas on national forest system lands within the state of Colorado. The North Fork Coal Mining Area exception allowed for temporary road construction for coal exploration and/or coal-related surface activities in a 19,500-acre area defined as the North Fork Coal Mining Area.
The Forest Service, on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, has prepared a supplemental draft environmental impact statement (SDEIS) addressing the specific environmental deficiencies identified by the District Court of Colorado. Also, the Department of Agriculture is proposing to correct certain Colorado Roadless Areas boundaries associated with the North Fork Coal Mining Area based on updated information obtained since the promulgation of the 2012 Colorado Roadless Rule. The SDEIS details the environmental, social and economic impacts of three a5lternatives. All alternatives include the boundary corrections of the Colorado Roadless Areas.
The SDEIS is available for review and comment online at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/coroadless
rule. The extended comment period ends on Jan. 15. Comments may be mailed to: 740 Simms, Golden, CO 80401, or faxed to 303-275-5134. An electronic comment form is available at go.usa.gov/3JQwJ.