A land of immense beauty, the sunset roadless area faces the imminet threat of coal mining.  Photo: Brett Henderson


Dear Friends,

On December 19th the Forest Service intends to issue its final rule opening the door to coal mining across 19,700 acres of roadless National Forest in Gunnison County. President Obama has said that to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, some fossil fuels must remain in the ground. Yet with this decision, his administration is proposing to significantly increase climate pollution. This rulemaking could result in the release of up to 443 million metric tons of cumulative greenhouse gas emissions. It paves the way for coal burning that could cost the world’s economy and environment up to $3.4 billion according to the Forest Service’s analysis, and combustion of the coal made available here would displace nearly ten thousand gigawatt hours of renewable power.

HCCA is asking you to please contact the White House immediately and urge President Obama to reject the North Fork Coal Area exception to the Colorado Roadless Rule.

Be prepared to make the following statements:

  • You are a resident of or visitor to Gunnison County
  • You oppose the North Fork Coal Area exemption to the Colorado Roadless Rule because of its climate and environmental impacts
  • The rule tarnishes President Obama’s climate legacy and accomplishments

Please contact the White House at (202) 456-1111, and the Council on Environmental Quality at (202) 395-5750.

The West Elk Mine is the single largest industrial source of methane pollution in Colorado, meaning Gunnison County is home to the single largest industrial source of methane pollution in the state. This rulemaking places no limits on the West Elk Mine’s emissions, and would extend methane pollution for three decades. Unfortunately, we’re near the end of the process for stopping this rule from being approved by the Obama administration. As such, HCCA asks that you please contact the White House and Council on Environmental Quality immediately and ask President Obama to say “no” to new coal mining in Gunnison County’s North Fork Roadless Area.

Thank you for all you do for the environment.

Matt Reed

Public Lands Program Director