Target: U.S. Forest Service

Action: Tell the Forest Service to follow the law and shut down bulldozing in the Sunset Roadless Area

Heartbreaking news is emerging from the North Fork this week, as we’re learning that Arch Coal illegally bulldozed a new road into the Sunset Roadless Area. On June 18, WW’s Conservation Director joined inspectors with the State of Colorado to survey the damage done, and it was astounding to see first-hand this egregious trespass on our public lands. The irreplaceable wild forest and wildlife habitat of the North Fork Valley are permanently scarred by this illegal road building.

Dozens of protesters demonstrate in opposition to the illegal road outside of Paonia in mid-June.

This is the latest in a string of brazen attacks on our public lands by the Trump administration. Arch Coal had apparently been assured by high-level Trump officials that the Forest Service wouldn’t interfere with the illegal bulldozing. Indeed, Arch Coal themselves said they discussed the matter with the Forest Service and were told the agency “did not oppose roadbuilding.”

The public wasn’t even made aware of the plans, let alone given a chance to weigh in.

Thankfully, the State of Colorado issued a cessation order to the coal company on June 18, putting a halt to any further road building activities in the roadless area. We’re grateful that the state responded swiftly to this violation of the Colorado Roadless Rule. We’re also inspired to see the energetic response by the local community, two peaceful protests were held in the North Fork Valley in mid-June.

This fight is far from over. We need the Forest Service to uphold the law and prohibit any additional road-building in the Sunset Roadless Area. Please submit comments today.