December 11, 2018

FWS Toll Highway Hearing Thursday Evening

The Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

Here’s the city’s official alert about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service public hearing Thursday evening. Please come if you can, and either way please consider submitting written comments by the October 31 deadline as well.

Citizens concerned about proposed Jefferson Parkway toll road can make their voices heard
Public encouraged to speak out at meeting on Oct. 13, submit written comments by Oct. 31

The Rocky Flats National Wildlife Act, enacted by Congress in 2001, requires that a corridor of land up to 300 feet wide along Indiana Street be made available for transportation improvements.

The City of Golden has proposed using this corridor of land adjacent to the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge for a bike route. The Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority (JPPHA) has proposed a major new toll road and bike route for the same piece of land, packaging it as part of a land exchange.

The choice between the two will be a pivotal decision that will impact the entire Northwest metro region, including Boulder and Jefferson counties.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service appears to be laying the groundwork to support the toll highway option, but there may still be an opportunity to impact that decision.
We believe a balanced and comprehensive review will demonstrate that Golden’s proposal is the better solution that will be more compatible with the region’s natural resources and transportation system.

The construction of the Jefferson Parkway, absent the mitigation proposed by Golden, would seriously degrade both the environment and quality of life in Jefferson County.

It’s important that Golden residents and others concerned about the potential negative impacts of the proposed Jefferson Parkway toll road make their voices heard in this process.

If you live in Golden or have opinions about whether this portion of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge should be turned into a toll highway or a bikeway, please attend an upcoming public meeting and submit written comments.

We encourage citizens to comment as part of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Environmental Assessment process. If possible, email comments and attend the meeting.

· Email comments to RockyFlatsEA@fws.gov by Oct. 31.

· Attend the public meeting on Oct. 13 at the Westminster City Park Recreation Center.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., the meeting begins at 6 p.m. and continues until 8 p.m. The Westminster City Park Recreation Center is located at 10455 Sheridan Blvd. in Westminster. The meeting will consist of a presentation by Rocky Flats Refuge staff, who will provide an overview of the Environmental Assessment, followed by a period during which the public can provide comments.

· If you don’t use email, please send a letter with your comments before Oct. 31 to:

Mike Dixon, Ph.D.
Division of Refuge Planning
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 25486, DFC
Denver, CO 80225

and

Bruce Hastings, Ph.D.
Deputy Refuge Manager
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
6550 Gateway Road
Building 129
Commerce City, CO 80022

Here are some key points that you may want to include in your comments:

· The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should not consider the effects of the land exchange proposed by the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority without considering the full implications of building the Jefferson Parkway toll road.

· The proposed Jefferson Parkway toll road would create sprawl and worsen traffic, both of which would negatively impact the region.

· The proposed multi-lane toll road would have a much bigger and much more negative impact on the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge than the bike route proposed by Golden.

· The Fish and Wildlife Service should not rely on the 2004 federal Rocky Flats Environmental Impact Statement, which is a dated document that does not reflect the current Jefferson Parkway toll road plan. That document did not consider the broader regional effects of the toll road, including noise, traffic and sprawl.

· The Jefferson Parkway issue is so integral to the future of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge that the Fish and Wildlife Service should consider it as part of its Environmental Assessment.