Regional
4:09 pm
Fri March 11, 2011

Pearce Protests Proposed Road Closures In Gila National Forest

Silver City – Today, Congressman Steve Pearce met with Thomas Tidwell, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, to deliver a letter in opposition to proposed road closings in the Gila National Forest.

Congressman Pearce's letter was written on behalf of the hundreds of constituents who have spoken out in opposition to the closings. Mr. Pearce is especially concerned for the elderly, families, and disabled who would be unable to access much of the forest with decreased road access. He has been contacted personally by numerous constituents who said the Forest Service's plan would prevent them from visiting the places they have shared with loved ones for decades.

"I respectfully request that the Service reconsider its plans to close roads and trails in the Gila National Forest," Pearce said in the letter. "In so doing, I specifically ask that you intervene to have the DEIS withdrawn and redrafted to ensure access for disabled and elderly Americans, hunters, hikers and other outdoor hobbyists. No American should be denied the right to enjoy the pristine habitats that their tax dollars pay for."

Last week, over 700 New Mexicans packed a convention center in Silver City to oppose the closures. In a survey conducted by Congressman Pearce during a Tele-Town Hall last month, 89% of respondents said they opposed closing roads in the Gila.