Tell the Bush administration not to log the wild forests of Colorado's Hell Canyon

The Forest Service recently announced a proposal to log parts of the 5,900-acre Hell Canyon Roadless Area in Colorado's Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest. Hell Canyon is a pristine area, and an essential habitat for a wide range of wildlife, including mountain lions, black bears, elk, mule deer, wild turkeys, blue grouse and northern goshawks. Named by early explorers for its rugged landscape, the canyon also includes a foraging area for peregrine falcons and the headwaters for several streams; it also may contain ecologically valuable stands of old growth trees. Because the canyon has been left untouched until now, it remains a very special island of solitude, and most Coloradans, as well as Americans across the country, want these wildlands protected.

Although the Forest Service's overall proposal includes some important goals, including protecting houses on private land near the forest from fires, most of the proposed logging in the roadless area is far from any homes, and is not necessary to protect these or any other structures. Moreover, the proposed logging project could destroy important wildlife habitat and violate the Roadless Rule that protects roadless areas nationwide from harmful logging and road construction. Logging and roadbuilding could even increase fire risk by drying out the woods and increasing access for motor vehicles and people.

The Forest Service is accepting public comments on its proposed logging project through December 11th.

== What to do == Send a message, before the December 11th deadline, urging the Forest Service not to log roadless areas in Hell Canyon unless they are within 100 yards of buildings or private property.

== Contact information == You can send an official comment directly from NRDC's Earth Action Center at Or use the contact information and sample letter below to send your own message, and please include your own reasons why protecting these stunning lands from logging is important to you.

Dyce Gayton Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest Canyon Lakes Ranger District 2150 Centre Avenue, Building E Fort Collins, CO 80526 Email:

== Sample letter ==

Subject: No roadless logging in the Hell Canyon Roadless Area

Dear Mr. Gayton,

I urge you to ensure that the Thompson River Fuels Reduction Project protects the Hell Canyon Roadless Area. According to the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Hell Canyon provides essential habitat to an incredible array of wildlife, including mountain lions, black bears, elk, mule deer, blue grouse, northern goshawks and peregrine falcons.

I support legitimate methods to reduce the risk of forest fire, but logging activity in remote areas is unnecessary to protect homes from forest fires and may actually increase forest fire risk to local communities by creating slash and increasing access to the forest. Logging in this area also could damage the remaining old growth forest and key wildlife habitat. For these reasons, I encourage you to plan logging in the Hell Canyon Roadless Area only within 100 yards or so of private land with a home or other occupied structure, where the owners are committed to doing their part to make the property fire-safe, and where the activities are unequivocally allowed by the 2001 Roadless Rule.

I also oppose the construction of any new roads for the project, whether they are designated permanent or not, and urge you to concentrate all activities on land immediately adjacent to private land with homes that need protection. This is the proven way to protect homes and communities, and should be the highest priority for the Forest Service.


[Your name and address]


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