INSIDE OUT

State parks prep for summer visits

With summer right around the corner, Colorado State Parks are opening up camping reservations on more than 40 parks in the state.

Starting Monday, Colorado State Parks will be accepting reservations for all of its parks in Colorado, according to parks officials. Either log on at www.coloradoparks.org or at www.parks.state.co.us or call (303) 470-1144 or (800) 678-2267. Call center hours are from 7 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Complete information on park amenities, fees, regulations and frequently asked questions are available on the Colorado State Parks Web site.

Forest management plans approved

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved the revised resource management plans for two Colorado national forests and told a third to do more work.

The Arapaho-Roosevelt and Routt National Forest plans were adequate. That finding allows the two areas to continue programs like clearing brush to prevent wildfire and study endangered species.

The Rio Grande National Forest needs to do more work on livestock grazing and monitoring issues, the Department of Agriculture said in a news release.

The revisions came after several environmental groups appealed the original plans, saying they didn't properly address work that needed to be done to ensure species conservation and a stable ecosystem.

Environmental groups back plan

Environmentalists are supporting efforts by the National Park Service to restore river flows through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

The Park Service wants to restore the Gunnison River through the park to levels established under a 1933 claim. Almost 50 other groups and individuals have protested that plan, saying adding more water in the canyon would come at the expense of water users ranging from farmers to rafters to cities.

Now a coalition of five environmental groups are speaking out in favor of the plan.

''To adequately protect this national treasure, we have to give it the water it needs and is legally entitled to,'' said Pam Eaton of The Wilderness Society.

''To do less just doesn't make sense.''

The environmental groups say the water might be used for growth.

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