Letter: Roadless process fair

Posted: Sunday, April 15, 2001

The U.S. Forest Service had planned to release new sales in roadless areas of the Tongass National Forest before the implementation of the roadless area policy May 12, 2001. The national forest managers of the Tongass picked a time and challenge of the roadless rule which is not favorable to the forests or to the public. 2001 is the 100th anniversary of President Theodore Roosevelt's request that the ABC islands (Admiralty, Baranof and Chicagof) be placed in a brown bar habitat reserve. 2001 is the year that Pacific Coast rainforest of Canada is "ground zero" in a battle over wildlife protection. The area considered in Canada is roughly 7.4 million acres between the northern tip of Vancouver Island and the Alaskan Panhandle (Tongass National Forest). 2001 is the year British Columbia closed brown bear hunting in the entire province. 2001 is the year President George W. Bush's administration is asking the U.S. Congress to remove from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) a provision that allows the public to sue the Department of Interior to get rare plants and animals listed as endangered. 2001 is not the year to say that studies, planning and comments by the public were not adequate in the USFS roadless rule. The roadless rule protecting 58 million acres of nationals forests was written after more than 600 hearings throughout the United States, 18 months of study by the U.S. Forest Service and the largest number of public comments ever received by the USFS. If only Congress could do this well at their public hearings.

Cliff Lobaugh


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