Several weeks ago I wrote
about a proposed sale of National Forest Service land to pay for rural schools. At the time, I sent a comment letter to the USFS and copied Representative Mark Udall and Senators Ken Salazar and Wayne Allard. Udall and Salazar responded
to my comments shortly, but today I finally received a response from Senator Allard. In fairness, I reproduce it here:
Thank you for contacting me to express your thoughts on the FY2007 Budget. You wrote regarding a section of the budget which would authorize the sale of 325,000 acres of public land currently administered by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
This proposed sale would affect Colorado, as 21,000 acres of public land in our state could be sold under this proposal. Colorado's public lands are one of our greatest resources, and we should act carefully when we consider proposals that will affect these lands. There is currently significant opposition to this proposal in Congress, and I have a number of concerns about this proposal.
I would also like to share my general philosophy on establishing public lands. When there is a local consensus, I have consistently been a supporter of passing laws to set aside public lands for the protection of ecosystems, habitats and species. I would like to share with you some of the work I have done on behalf of public lands in Colorado.
I was the original sponsor of legislation known as the "Spanish Peaks Wilderness Act" which designated roughly 18,000 acres of land, including the West Spanish Peak and the East Spanish Peak, as wilderness. My legislation, which has been signed into law, permanently preserves the land for future generations.
I also authored a bill to re-designate the Great Sand Dunes National Monument as Colorado's and the nation's newest national park. This proposal increased threefold the amount of land preserved. It's enactment into law protects on of Colorado's greatest natural assets.
I am also currently sponsoring legislation which would establish the Browns Canyon wilderness area in Colorado. This area near Salida borders the Arkansas River, and will preserve a beautiful, pristine area for Coloradans and other Americas to enjoy.
I will be the first to state that the preservation of our nation's wild lands is important. I believe that by providing the Forest Service and BLM with additional management options we will, in the end, further the mission of protecting and preserving America's most precious lands.
Again, thank you for writing. For more information regarding this and other important issues, please feel free to visit my website at http://allard.senate.gov. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.
Labels: Allard, Forest Service Land Sale