National Forests in Jeopardy|
2002-07-07, 3:48 p.m.
Tell Congress to Save Roadless Areas Now!
We have fought long and hard during the two-year process that led up to the “Roadless Area Conservation Rule.” Issued in January 2001, this Rule limited logging, mining and drilling in 58.5 million acres of forests. This is an area close to the size of Colorado, stretched over 39 states. Now the Roadless Rule has become the latest target for the Bush administration’s environmental rollbacks. Bush appointees have delayed implementation, created new exclusions (“small-scale logging!”), weakened the required environmental review and exempted entire forests like the Tongass Rainforest in Alaska. Meanwhile, timber sales that would otherwise have been prohibited are being pushed through.
National environmental groups supported the Roadless Rule because it is essential to safeguarding public drinking water, preserving needed habitat for over 1,600 threatened species and providing recreation for millions of visitors each year. No wonder this Rule won more public comments—over 2 million in support. But the Bush administration has turned a deaf ear to our voices.
Fed up, some Members of Congress are now acting to stop the Bush reversal on forests. Representatives Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) will introduce a bill in May to make the Roadless Rule a federal law rather than just a regulation (making it less susceptible to agency evasion). This bill would ensure the conservation of our last natural forests, while still allowing very limited road building for reasonable needs such as fighting forest fires. This is an essential step to protect America’s last great natural heritage.
With your help, we scored a big win recently when the Senate acted to block drilling in the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge. We must build on this victory and urgently need your letters to support efforts in Congress to save the forests Rule. Write your Representative urging him/her to co-sponsor the “National Forest Roadless Area Conservation Act,” and actively support the bill.
There's also information on this issue from the Sierra Club.
"Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation." - Martin Luther King, Jr.