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Stop Logging in National Forest Roadless Areas



Written in Projects: 03/15/09, 17:16:46 by jonathan  | Print article  | View all categories.
Stop Logging in National Forest Roadless Areas
 Now
When the U.S. Forest Service adopted the landmark Roadless Area Conservation Rule in 2001, it was the result of the most extensive and popular rulemaking in the history of our federal government. More than a million Americans commented on the rule and more than 95 percent supported the conservation measures it established. Eight years later, the rule and its protections are as popular as ever, but some rogue national forests, emboldened by the Bush administration's anti-environment stance, are ignoring the rule and logging in roadless areas.

One culprit is the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. Video footage recorded by forest activists last fall shows clear-cutting in an inventoried roadless area there. Two roadless areas have already been logged; the Forest Service plans to log two more roadless areas soon.

Although we have a new administration, it will be too late to save these areas now on the chopping block unless something is done soon,

Please sign the petition below calling for strong, nationally consistent protection for all inventoried roadless areas. We will deliver the petition and signatures to White Mountain National Forest Supervisor Thomas Wagner and Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

National forest roadless areas are among our country's greatest natural treasures. They provide critically important habitat for many species, harbor some of the healthiest watersheds in our nation, contain many millions of acres of mature forests that buffer the impacts of global warming by absorbing and retaining immense quantities of carbon, and provide much-needed respite and recreation to millions of Americans. Due to their importance, I ask you to prioritize creating and implementing strong, nationally consistent protections for all inventoried roadless areas.
 President Barack Obama is a supporter of the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, an immensely popular, scientifically sound conservation policy that preserves 58.5 million acres of inventoried roadless areas in the national forests. Obama was co-sponsor of legislation to codify the rule when he was a senator. The Roadless Rule's status is now uncertain. Conflicting court decisions and pending appeals in two different federal circuits leave roadless areas in dangerous limbo. Under the latest court rulings, most of our nation's inventoried roadless areas are at risk from logging, road building, and other development prohibited by the rule. Furthermore, some national forest units have used a narrow, erroneous interpretation of the rule to provide cover for their plans to log and build roads in inventoried roadless areas. Already, some roadless areas have been clear-cut; others are scheduled to be logged later this year. The Clinton administration announced the Roadless Area Conservation Rule on January 12, 2001, after the most extensive public-involvement process in the history of federal rulemaking. It protected more than 58 million acres. However, the Bush administration repeatedly undercut the rule's protections, failed to defend it against legal challenges, and ultimately sought to replace it with a discretionary state petition process in 2005. For all these reasons, there is an urgent need for swift administrative action to ensure that national forest roadless areas remain intact and unharmed while the judicial processes are resolved and permanent protections are developed and put in place. We specifically request that the U.S. Department of Agriculture act quickly to adopt strong, nationally consistent protections to prevent further damage to these critical areas. Such action would be consistent with President Obama's support for the Roadless Rule and the protections it affords our last undeveloped national forest lands. Thank you.
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National forest roadless areas are among our country's greatest natural treasures. They provide critically important habitat for many species, harbor some of the healthiest watersheds in our nation, contain many millions of acres of mature forests that buffer the impacts of global warming by absorbing and retaining immense quantities of carbon, and provide much-needed respite and recreation to millions of Americans. Due to their importance, I ask you to prioritize creating and implementing strong, nationally consistent protections for all inventoried roadless areas.


President Barack Obama is a supporter of the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, an immensely popular, scientifically sound conservation policy that preserves 58.5 million acres of inventoried roadless areas in the national forests.  Obama was co-sponsor of legislation to codify the rule when he was a senator.

The Roadless Rule's status is now uncertain. Conflicting court decisions and pending appeals in two different federal circuits leave roadless areas in dangerous limbo. Under the latest court rulings, most of our nation's inventoried roadless areas are at risk from logging, road building, and other development prohibited by the rule.  

Furthermore, some national forest units have used a narrow, erroneous interpretation of the rule to provide cover for their plans to log and build roads in inventoried roadless areas. Already, some roadless areas have been clear-cut; others are scheduled to be logged later this year.

The Clinton administration announced the Roadless Area Conservation Rule on January 12, 2001, after the most extensive public-involvement process in the history of federal rulemaking. It protected more than 58 million acres. However, the Bush administration repeatedly undercut the rule's protections, failed to defend it against legal challenges, and ultimately sought to replace it with a discretionary state petition process in 2005.

For all these reasons, there is an urgent need for swift administrative action to ensure that national forest roadless areas remain intact and unharmed while the judicial processes are resolved and permanent protections are developed and put in place. We specifically request that the U.S. Department of Agriculture act quickly to adopt strong, nationally consistent protections to prevent further damage to these critical areas. Such action would be consistent with President Obama's support for the Roadless Rule and the protections it affords our last undeveloped national forest lands.
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2167/t/5243/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=1872