For Immediate Release: June 7, 2001

Contact: Steve Holmer, 202/547-9105, wafcdc@americanlands.org

Chief Bosworth Announces Roadless Areas Open for Logging

In a directive issued today, Forest Service Chief announced that commercial logging and road construction can resume on National Forest roadless areas with his permission. Bosworth also announced his intention to make roadless area protection subject to the forest planning process. The directive is available at http://roadless.fs.fed.us/documents/1230_Roadless_Ltr.htm

"We are very disappointed with the Bush Administration and Chief Bosworth's "Interim Protection" directive that opens up the remaining wild forests to commercial logging and road construction," said Steve Holmer, campaign coordinator for American Lands Alliance. "Instead of defending the roadless area conservation rule in court and announcing a moratorium or Executive Order to halt new destructive projects, the President has made clear he wants to exploit these lands for more logging, mining and oil and gas drilling."

Under existing forest plans, 50% of all roadless areas are slated for logging and roadbuilding. The Forest Planning regulations are also in limbo right now. The Bush Administration has recently withdrawn new planning regulations issued by the Clinton Administration, but has not yet offered new regulations that will be the basis for revising the roadless conservation rule.

"Twenty years of forest planning failed to protect these roadless areas," said Holmer. "Returning to a failed process which is often controlled by extractive interests will only lead to the destruction of millions of acres of wild forest that should be protected by the roadless conservation rule."

"The Administration is currently rewriting the planning regulations, so they are asking the public to trust a process that doesn't exist," said Holmer. "Instead of handing these lands over to extractive industries, the Bush Administration should listed to the 1.6 million Americans who spoke out for immediate and total protection for our remaining roadless areas and implement the rule as written."

 

Steve Holmer

Campaign Coordinator

American Lands

726 7th Street SE

Washington, D.C. 20003