Democratic News

The Administration's rollback on the Roadless Rule troubles Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), top Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  Sen. Bingaman said this rewrite "ignores sound science, good government economics and the will of the tax-paying Americans."

 

Bingaman noted that the change will allow road construction in many sensitive watershed areas where construction previously had been blocked -- even though the Forest Service admits that "road construction and timber harvest can result in measurable reductions in water quality," and that road construction, reconstruction and maintenance "may cause or accelerate surface erosion and initiate landslide events."

 

Bingaman also pointed out that the rule retreat allows for new construction, even as the Forest Service is facing a $10 billion backlog in maintenance on its existing roads. "We haven't even done what is necessary to maintain the roads that already part of our national forest system" Bingaman said.  "What sense does it make to build more roads when the Forest Service can't maintain the ones it already has?"

 

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Bill Wicker

Democratic Communications Director

Senate Energy & Natural Resources

202.224.5243