A task force set up to determine what to do with roadless areas around Colorado met today in Denver, where Mayor John Hickenlooper told members that the wild country helps drive the state economy.
Others asked the panel to consider the economic value of minerals in roadless areas and the state's demand for energy.
About four-point-four million acres in Colorado are part of 58-point-five (M) million acres nationwide that were put off-limits to development under the Clinton administration.
They were potentially opened to logging, road-building and other activities by the Bush administration.
Governors have until November 13th to petition the U-S agriculture secretary -- who oversees the Forest Service -- to protect some or all the roadless sites.