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E-M:/ Bush plan weakens Roadless Rule
- Subject: E-M:/ Bush plan weakens Roadless Rule
- From: "Vicki Levengood" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Fri, 4 May 2001 16:16:25 -0400
- Delivered-To: email@example.com
- Delivered-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- List-Name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-To: "Vicki Levengood" <email@example.com>
National Environmental Trust /
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 4, 2001
CONTACT: Vicki Levengood, NET / MI: 517-333-5786, or
Bush Administration Announces Plan To Weaken
Forest Conservation Policy
The Bush Administration announced today that it will uphold a popular
forests conservation policy, but would propose changes next month that could
severely undermine the rule.
"Of course President Bush wants to look like he's upholding an
overwhelmingly popular rule, but we won't know until he proposes changes in June
whether or not he really intends to actually protect the National Forests," said
Vicki Levengood, Michigan representative of the National Environmental
16,000 acres of roadless wilderness in Michigan's National Forests will be
at risk to logging, mining, and roadbuilding if the original rule is not
Under the Bush Administration proposal, the policy, also known as the
Roadless Area Conservation Rule, would be implemented through the forest
planning process, giving final say over protection of these areas to individual
US Forest Service supervisors. Under the original rule, logging and other
development would be limited in all roadless areas in National Forests.
"The term 'local input' is just code for giving the timber industry a blank
check to log the few remaining pristine acres in our National
Forests," said Levengood. "These are National Forests. Letting
local officials decide what to do with National Forests is like allowing county
commissioners to decide whether or not to put a Wal-Mart in the middle of
the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore."
According to the US Forest Service, over the last 70 years, local control
of forest management has led to more than 383,000 miles of roads on National
Forest land -- enough to circle the planet 15 times. The system of
roads has created a maintenance backlog of more than $8.4 billion.
This latest announcement comes on the heels of a number of national polls
suggest President Bush's approval rating is dropping as a result of unpopular
decisions on the environment.
The plan will affect National Forests across the country, including the
Tongass National Forest in Alaska, where a number of permits for logging are
already being processed.
After the most extensive public rulemaking ever, encompassing more than 600
public hearings and 1.6 million comments, the U.S. Forest Service issued the
Roadless Area Conservation Policy on January 5, 2001. The Roadless Area
Conservation Policy was designed to protect the last remaining wild
National Forest lands from most logging, except when needed to restore
ecological integrity, protect habitat for endangered species, or reduce threats
of catastrophic wildfires.