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Off-roader blasts Lamborn



Editor's Note: This story suggested that U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn had not contacted the U.S. Forest Service or other federal officials on behalf of constituent Dan Wagman, who asked for his help in getting Forest Road 371 reopened. In fact, Lamborn's records indicate that he sent multiple letters to this effect, and his office reports that he also brought up the matter in person with Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell. It was in spite of such efforts that the congressman failed to change the Forest Service's position.

Many people in the 5th Congressional District might be happy with the job Rep. Doug Lamborn is doing. Dan Wagman isn't one of them.

Based on his experience trying to get Lamborn's help in battling the U.S. Forest Service, Wagman — who has a Ph.D and runs a sports science Web site — says it's time to boot the "incompetent and ineffective" Colorado Springs Republican from office. Asked to comment, Lamborn admits he hasn't been able to get results.

"Unfortunately, I cannot guarantee any legislative or case work outcome," Lamborn says in a prepared statement.

At issue is Wagman's six-year campaign to force the Forest Service to reopen Forest Road 371 off Old Stage Road, which Wagman says was closed illegally in 2004 without a public process. The Forest Service says 371 and other roads west of Colorado Springs were closed to protect sensitive species and preserve a Colorado Springs Utilities water line. Wagman counters that the law doesn't give the service such unilateral power.

Since Wagman and others took their beef to Lamborn in 2007, nothing has happened. Lamborn told Wagman's group he sought a Committee on Natural Resources hearing in 2008, but Wagman says the committee's staff told him they weren't aware of the request.

Though Wagman provided him with chapter and verse of federal law, he says Lamborn "never challenged" the Forest Service's claims: "He's never followed up on anything."

Wagman, who says he has the support of about 4,000 off-roaders, hopes Lamborn will be ousted in November. Problem is, Lamborn has no opponent in his bid for a third term.

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