Protection for National Forest Roadless Areas Is Overdue

wafcdc at wafcdc at
Tue Nov 9 07:32:32 EST 1999

From: "wafcdc at" <wafcdc at>
Subject: Protection for National Forest Roadless Areas Is Overdue

To:		All
From:		Steve Holmer
Date:		November 9, 1999

Subject:	Protection for National Forest Roadless Areas Is Overdue

President Clinton recently took a giant step toward cementing a conservation
legacy on par with that of Teddy Roosevelt by launching a plan to
permanently protect as tens of millions of acres of wild, "roadless" areas
in America's National Forests from environmentally destructive activities.

For most of this century the National Forests have been heavily logged,
mined, and exploited at the taxpayer's expense for private gain by
commercial and industrial interests.  Since being created, more than half
the land in America's National Forests has been lost to these activities.
And, less than 20 percent is permanently protected under federal wilderness

For this policy to be credible it must protect roadless areas in all
National Forests from logging, mining, roadbuilding and other damaging
activities.  These roadless areas are not only the last best place for
wildlife, but also a source of clean drinking water for tens of millions of
Americans in more than 3,400 communities.

The Forest Service is currently accepting public comments on the roadless
area protection policy to help develop a range of alternatives that the
public will then have an opportunity to comment on.  The agency deserves
credit for involving the public and listening to their comments when the
roadbuilding moratorium in roadless areas was initially proposed last year.
Of the 80,000 comments the agency received, 75,000 supported the protection
of all roadless areas.  

Another concern raised by conservationists is that the plan will defer
protection of some smaller roadless areas 1,000 acres and larger to the
forest planning process which could take years to accomplish.  Meanwhile,
precious acres are lost each year to new logging projects and other
developments.  A better plan would protect all the roadless areas immediately.

Lastly, there is concern that some roadless areas will be left out of the
final policy.   The area most at risk of being excluded due to political
pressure is Alaska's Tongass National Forest.  President Clinton should
stand up to Alaska's congressional delegation and insist that all of the
National Forest roadless areas be protected, not just some.

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Steve Holmer
Campaign Coordinator

American Lands 
726 7th Street, SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
202/547-9213 fax
wafcdc at

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