ROADLESS AREA PROPOSAL -- YOUR COMMENTS NEEDED

 

On May 9th, 2000 the Forest Service released its draft plan to protect roadless
areas of our national forests.  But the proposal falls short, and your
comments are needed to make sure the final plan provides meaningful
protection.  Attend one of the public hearings, and send your comments from
http://www.wilderness.org/standbylands/forests/roadless_area.htm  A new
analysis of the proposal is also available there.

BACKGROUND
Last October, President Clinton called for the protection of the last
remaining roadless areas on our national forests.  In response, the Forest
Service recently released a draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)
with various management "alternatives," including a "preferred"
alternative.  But the proposal falls short of the vision called for by the
President, because it exempts Alaska's Tongass National Forest, and because
it bans roadbuilding - but not other destructive activities such as
logging, off-road vehicle use, and mining, for instance.

Your action today can help ensure this draft is strengthened and that the
final plan reflects the vision of the President and the American public.

Recent studies have found that forests and streams in Wilderness and
Roadless Areas are consistently in better ecological condition than areas
that have been developed with roads for logging.  As such, the alternatives
in the DEIS that ban logging are superior to the more limited road-building
ban alternative.  The no-logging alternatives would have a minor effect on
the Forest Service's overall forest health program.

A prohibition on all logging in roadless areas, including those in the
Tongass, would result in only a 7% reduction in the Forest Service's
planned timber sale program.  The impact on total U.S. timber production
would be miniscule.  And the complete coverage of the Tongass National
Forest in the final rule would save the American taxpayer about $96 million
over the next 5 years -- an amount that would otherwise be lost by the
government because of "below-cost" timber sales on the Tongass.

A preliminary analysis of the DEIS plus a factsheet are now available at
http://www.wilderness.org/standbylands/forests/roadless_area.htm

TAKE ACTION
You can have a voice in the outcome of the roadless policy, by attending
one of 300 hearings nationwide and sending in comments to the Forest
Service.  Go to
http://www.wilderness.org/standbylands/forests/roadless_area.htm for
hearing dates, to send a letter, or to download a text version of the
letter to send directly.  Tell the Forest Service that the final roadless
policy MUST:

- Provide immediate and lasting protection for all National Forest roadless
areas, both inventoried and uninventoried, of at least 1,000 acres.

- Prohibit all roads, logging, and other destructive activities associated
with roads, such as off-road vehicles, on those lands.

- *Not* exclude the Tongass National Forest - i.e., no loopholes,
exemptions, or waivers.

- Provide Interim Protection for other unroaded areas through Project by
Project Analysis as a transition to the Forest Plan Process.

Send your comments to:
USDA Forest Service-CAET, Attn: Roadless
PO Box 221090, Salt Lake City, UT 84122
EMAIL: roadlessdeis@fs.fed.us
FAX (toll-free): (877) 703-2494

Hearings: The Wilderness Society has set up a toll-free number, (877)
466-2725, to help you find the public hearing closest to you.

 

Founded in 1935, The Wilderness Society works to protect America's
wilderness and to develop a nation-wide network of wild lands through
public education, scientific analysis and advocacy.  Our goal is to ensure
that future generations will enjoy the clean air and water, wildlife,
beauty and opportunities for recreation and renewal that pristine forests,
rivers, deserts and mountains provide. To take action on behalf of
wildlands today, visit our website at http://www.wilderness.org

 

Phone: (209)254-5263
Fax: (209)254-5263
Email: webmaster@bwca.cc

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