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Overwhelming Public Support for Roadless Policy

Reports from the United States Forest Service and the Heritage Forests Campaign show overwhelming support for the protection of 58.5 million acres of wild national forest land. HFC reports a clear contradiction between public and corporate interests in the battle to protect roadless areas.
Overwhelming Public Support for Roadless Policy
Overwhelming Public Support for Roadless Policy
From National Environmental Trust
Thursday, June 27, 2002

USFS, HFC Reports Show Overwhelming Public Support, Despite Corporate
Opposition

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- There are clear lines between the public and corporate special interests in the battle over the protection of 58.5 million acres of wild national forest land, according to a report released by the Heritage Forests Campaign.

The report follows a Forest Service analysis of comments submitted in response to the Bush administration's plan to change the Roadless Area Conservation Rule.

"The public has once again told the Forest Service that it overwhelmingly supports protecting our last wild national forest lands," said Jane Danowitz, director of the Heritage Forests Campaign. "The real question this time is whether the Bush administration will listen to its corporate special interest friends instead."

The Forest Service report analyzed comments submitted by the public last fall in response to the Bush administration's announcement that it intended to make changes to the wildly popular roadless rule. According to the report, completed on May 31, 2002, but not released until last night, the Forest Service received 726,440 comments from the public, and that 97 percent of these comments favored implementing the Roadless Area Conservation Rule without Bush administration changes.

The Heritage Forests Campaign report, completed following an inspection of those same comments, concludes that the debate over the future of the roadless has clear lines between powerful corporate special interests and the public. On one side, members of Congress, scientists, religious leaders, recreationalists, conservationists, environmentalists and the public favor protecting roadless areas from commercial logging and road building. On the other side, the timber, mining, forest products, and helicopter industries along with off-road vehicle advocates and conservative politicians oppose roadless protection.
Just six months after taking office, the Bush Administration, which had placed the implementation of the rule on hold, began a new rulemaking process and called for another round of public comments.

Following months of frustration over the Bush administration's foot-dragging, a bipartisan group of 175 members of Congress introduced the National Forest Roadless Area Conservation Act, which would codify the rule, on June 5, 2002.

The Roadless Area Conservation Rule was signed into law on January 11, 2001 after the most exhaustive federal rulemaking in history. After more than six hundred public meetings and a record-breaking 1.6 million public comments, the Forest Service announced the policy to protect the nation's last wild national forests from most road building and commercial logging.

To view the Forest Service Comment Report, visit www.roadless.fs.fed.us
For more information, contact:
Le Evans
Press Officer
National Environmental Trust
202-887-8800
 levans@environet.org
Web site:  http://www.environet.org

homepage: homepage: http://www.environet.org

More Roadless 01.Jul.2002 19:29

Southern Oregon IMC Pod

To: All Activists From: Steve Holmer Date: June 20, 2002

ROADLESS BILL AT 177 COSPONSORS - NEW SCIENCE REVIEW SUPPORTS ROADLESS AREA PROTECTION

The Roadless Area Conservation Act of 2002, H.R. 4865, now has 177 cosponsors in the House and continues to gain momentum as the annual appropriations season approaches. Conservationists are urging Congress to pass a roadless area spending limitations amendment to halt over fifty new roadless area logging projects that violate the Roadless Rule.

You can help by contacting your Rep. at 202/224-3121 or by fax or email at  http://www.congress.org and urging them to support the Roadless Area Conservation Act, H.R. 4865. If your Rep. is already a cosponsor, please thank them and urge their support for the roadless spending limitations amendment. A list of cosponsors is available at  http://www.americanlands.org/cosponsors.htm


"THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR ROADLESS AREA PROTECTION" RELEASED BY WORLD WILDLIFE FUND

A new report by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) provides an overview of the peer- reviewed science that supports calls for roadless area protection, and summarizes recent economic studies of the issue. It was compiled using extensive literature reviews, peer-reviewed science, the latest satellite imagery and computer mapping that reflects nearly a decade of studies conducted by WWF and the Conservation Biology Institute. The findings show that roadless areas are:

less susceptible to catastrophic fires, more resistant to insects and forest health problems, potentially beneficial to local economies, vital to public municipalities that supply drinking water, crucial to conserving wildlife and plants, especially many threatened and endangered species.

Full copies of the studies can be found at  http://www.worldwildlife.org/forests and then click on "roadless areas" and then "Scientific Basis." The executive summary is available at  http://www.americanlands.org/science_review.htm and can be downloaded as a word file.