Last Chance to Comment on Refuge Land Exchange

Last Chance to Comment on Refuge Land Exchange

July 28, 2011 – The City of Golden has submitted a bid to purchase a corridor of land, presently owned by the U.S. Department of the Interior as part of the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge, along Indiana Avenue. The City has also offered to purchase other environmentally sensitive lands and do a land exchange with the Refuge. If Golden is successful, the City will create a pedestrian and bicycle path on the corridor just west of Indiana Street.

However, Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge is seriously considering a bid from the Jefferson Parkway Authority, which plans to build a toll road along the corridor.

If accepted, Golden’s proposal would have many benefits for Golden and the region as a whole, including:

  • Stopping the toll road from being built on what is now conservation land
  • Potentially stopping or seriously delaying the entire toll road/beltway concept
  • Protecting important wildlife habitat
  • Preventing the sprawl, noise and pollution that would come with the proposed highway
  • Providing alternate transportation now sorely lacking in this region
  • Provide healthy recreational opportunities to Jefferson County residents

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who owns the land, held a public open house on July 20 to “help determine the appropriate level of environmental review” and asked for public comment.

It is NOT too late to comment. You have one more day to get your voice heard. Please email or write a letter by Friday, July 29, which is when public comment closes. In your letters, please ask that a full environmental impact study be done on any proposals and that all future land transfer agreements cause minimal environmental harm and instead augment preservation efforts as well as benefit human health. Additionally, request that the full regional effects of a toll road on sprawl and on Golden be considered and compared to the effects of a bikeway. Specifically ask that any land exchanges take place only if a multi-lane toll road will not be built on transferred land.

In this case, a full environmental review would be extremely beneficial to Golden’s proposal, since a pedestrian and bicycle path would have very little negative environmental impact compared to a 6-lane toll road. Likewise, the “expansion” of the refuge should not come at the expense of wildlife habitats, as it will with a toll road.

1. Send an email to both of the following:
Mike Dixon: RockyFlatsEA@fws.gov
Bruce Hastings, Deputy Refuge Manager: RockyFlatsEA@fws.gov
2. Send a letter to both of the following:
Mike Dixon
Division of Refuge Planning
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 25486, DFC
Denver, CO 80225
AND
Bruce Hastings, Deputy Refuge Manager
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
6550 Gateway Road
Building 129
Commerce City, CO 80022

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