The latest news from Golden about the Jefferson Parkway issue

The latest news from Golden about the Jefferson Parkway issue

February 22, 2012 – Here’s a brief update from the City of Golden on the proposed Jefferson Parkway toll road and related issues.

As we reported earlier, Golden filed a lawsuit in January to halt the transfer by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of land in the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge for the construction of the proposed Jefferson Parkway.

Golden’s lawsuit followed a separate complaint filed by the Town of Superior. More recently, two environmental groups — WildEarth Guardians and Rocky Mountain Wild — filed their own lawsuit against the Fish and Wildlife Service, claiming the Fish and Wildlife Service violated federal environmental laws when it agreed to transfer the land for the Jefferson Parkway.

We expect all three lawsuits will be consolidated in the coming weeks, which is a more efficient way for the U.S. District Court to address the issues raised.

Meanwhile the Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to delay the land transfer until Sept. 1 or until the court rules on these issues.

As you may recall, Golden had offered its own proposal for the Rocky Flats land, focusing on bike and pedestrian paths instead of a toll road. While Golden argued that its proposal would better protect the Rocky Flats refuge and serve the region’s transportation needs, the Fish and Wildlife Service rejected it in favor of the Jefferson Parkway authority’s offer for the tract

So what does all this mean?

It means Golden is in good company in opposing this land transfer, as well as the overall Jefferson Parkway proposal.

It also means that these other groups have joined a growing chorus highlighting the hazards of the toll road, including the permanent damage that it would do to precious open space and natural resources.

We’ll continue to update Golden citizens as the situation develops.

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