Society, January 17, 2002
More than 1,500 people were able to get through to Agriculture
Secretary Veneman's office last Friday, asking her to stand with the
American people and implement the Roadless Area Conservation Rule.
That comes out to about three calls per minute! Thank you, thank
you, thank you. (We know many of you tried to call but could not get
through. That's why!)
January 12th marked the first anniversary of the Roadless Area
Conservation Rule. But instead of protecting 58.5 million acres of
pristine National Forests and Grasslands from roads and logging as was
intended, the Bush Administration is doing everything it can to overturn
Your calls ensured that the Secretary, whose department overseas the
U.S. Forest Service, got the attention of Americans who want to see our
roadless areas protected.
To keep this issue from slipping below the radar screen where the Bush Administration
would like to see it, please send a letter to the editor of your local
paper, making these points:
- The Roadless Area Conservation Rule was adopted by the U.S. government
after nearly three years of analysis and the greatest public input in
the history of federal rulemaking -- 600 hearings and 2.2 million
- Ninety percent of those who commented on the plan support the
strongest protections possible for these wild areas. *Why is the
Bush Administration ignoring the wishes of the American people?*
- The Roadless Rule protects 58.5 million acres of pristine National
Forests and Grasslands from road construction and most logging.
Exceptions allow for road construction to fight fire, protect private
property and endangered species habitat, and allow access to state and
private lands. Roadless areas already under lease to oil and gas
development were exempted as well.
-National Forest roadless areas provide a) important habitat for
wildlife and fish, including vanishing species like grizzly bears,
wolves, and salmon; b) sources of clean drinking water for millions of
Americans; and c) superb recreational opportunities like hiking,
hunting and fishing for all.
-This legacy of wild forest protection preserves a vital piece of our
natural heritage for our children and grandchildren.
-President Bush and his Administration should honor the will of the
American people and implement the January 12, 2001, Roadless Area