On ‘Roadless Rule’ Review

September 6, 2001
12:00 AM
“The Roadless Area Conservation Rule put in place last year is sound public policy. While I am not opposed to additional public comment, I will be opposed to any adjustments that threaten the future good health of America’s forests. Although the Bush Administration promised not to undermine the roadless rule, it is now revisiting fundamental questions regarding the necessity of this balanced, common-sense policy. The American people will be closely watching the steps the Administration takes in the months ahead to reject any proposals that weaken the roadless rule. “No rule can perfectly satisfy everyone, but this one has struck a chord with Americans, who want to ensure that the few remaining acres of roadless lands in our national forests will be there for the enjoyment of their children and grandchildren. The roadless rule was adopted after more than three years of study, 600 public hearings and a record-breaking number of comments – the overwhelming majority of which favored protecting our roadless wild areas. What’s more, the U.S. Forest Service already has an $8.4 billion maintenance backlog on its existing 360,000-mile road system. In the absence of this rule, building new roads into protected areas would simply add to this backlog.” # # #