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E-M:/ Clinton Announces Forest Protection



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Enviro-Mich message from Frank Ambrose <fambrose@bloomington.in.us>
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FOr those who have not heard, Pres. Clinton today announced the protection
of 40 million acres of National Forest Land. He said that the Forest
Service has been directed to craft a policy that offers protection for
roadless areas in our National Forests. This policy will have a comment
period. His speech is below

He said that generally it is roadless areas 5,000 acres and up, but the
Forest Service was to also look for areas that were smaller but important.
This an important clause for the east (it is our in). There are several
areas in Michigan and Indiana that should be protected by this policy 
[Trap Hills, Rolling Thunder etc in MI, and Mogan Ridge in IN].

If you have any questions, please call me.

Frank Ambrose
812-337-1631


The Text of his speech:
SUBJECT:        Protection of Forest "Roadless" Areas

At the start of this century, President Theodore Roosevelt dedicated this
Nation to the conservation of natural resources -- our land, our water, our
wildlife, and all the other precious gifts nature had bestowed upon us.
One of America's great central tasks, he declared, is "leaving this land
even a better land for our descendants than it is for us."

In pursuit of that goal, President Roosevelt established new protections
for millions upon millions of acres across America.  His remarkable legacy
includes 5 national parks, 18 national monuments, and dozens of wildlife
refuges.  Among his most notable conservation achievements were the
consolidation of 65 million acres of Federal forest reserves into the
National Forest System, and the creation of the United States Forest
Service to ensure wise stewardship of these lands for future generations.
In this effort, he was guided by Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the
Forest Service and a founder of America's conservation movement.

Today, the National Forest System has grown to 192 million acres of forests
and grasslands in 46 States and territories.  These lands provide a broad
array of benefits to the American people.  They support rural industries,
sustain fish and wild-life, generate drinking water for 60 million
Americans, and provide important recreation opportunities to an
increasingly urban population.

Over the years, unfortunately, our Nation has not always honored President
Roosevelt's vision.  Too often, we have favored resource extraction over
conservation, degrading our forests and the critical natural values they
sustain.  As the consequences of these actions have become more apparent,
the American people have expressed growing concern and have called on us to
restore balance to their forests.

My Administration has made significant strides in improving the management
of our Federal forestlands.  Beginning with the adoption of a
comprehensive, science-based forest plan for the Pacific Northwest, we have
sought to strengthen protections for wildlife, water quality, and other
vital ecological values, while ensuring a steady, sustainable supply of
timber and other commodities to support stable rural economies.  The new
forest planning regulation proposed last month represents another major
step in that direction.

It is time now, I believe, to address our next challenge -- the fate of
those lands within the National Forest System that remain largely untouched
by human intervention.  A principal defining characteristic of these lands
is that they do not have, and in most cases never have had, roads across
them.  We know from earlier inventories that there are more than 40 million
acres of "roadless" area within the National Forest System, generally in
parcels of 5,000 acres or more.  A temporary moratorium on road building in
most of these areas has allowed us time to assess their ecological,
economic, and social values and to evaluate long-term options for their
management.

In weighing the future of these lands, we are presented with a unique
historic opportunity.  From the Appalachian Mountains to the Sierra Nevada,
these are some of the last, best unpro-tected wildlands in America.  They
are vital havens for wildlife -- indeed, some are absolutely critical to
the survival of endangered species. They are a source of clean, fresh water
for countless communities.  They offer unparalleled opportunities for
hikers, campers, hunters, anglers, and others to experience unspoiled
nature.  In short, these lands bestow upon us unique and irreplaceable
benefits.  They are a treasured inheritance - enduring remnants of an
untrammeled wilderness that once stretched from ocean to ocean.

Accordingly, I have determined that it is in the best interest of our
Nation, and of future generations, to provide strong and lasting protection
for these forests, and I am directing you to initiate administrative
proceedings to that end.

Specifically, I direct the Forest Service to develop, and propose for
public comment, regulations to provide appro-priate long-term protection
for most or all of these currently inventoried "roadless" areas, and to
determine whether such protection is warranted for any smaller "roadless"
areas not yet inventoried.  The public, and all interested parties, should
have the opportunity to review and comment on the proposed regulations.  In
the final regulations, the nature and degree of protections afforded should
reflect the best available science and a careful consideration of the full
range of ecological, economic, and social values inherent in these lands.

I commend you, along with the Undersecretary for Natural Resources and the
Environment, Jim Lyons, the Chief of the Forest Service, Michael Dombeck,
and the entire Forest Service for your leadership in strengthening and
modernizing the management of our Federal forests -- lands held by us in
trust for all Americans and for future generations.  With the new effort we
launch today, we can feel confident that we have helped to fulfill and
extend the conservation legacy of Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot,
and to ensure that the 21st century is indeed a new century for America's
forests.

WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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