Places worth saving

Posted: Sunday, July 20, 2003

Our court system has lost touch with reality when it comes to America's national forests. When Judge Clarence A. Brimmer struck down the 2001 Roadless Rule last week, he argued that the rule unlawfully designated wilderness. The previous administration came to its decision on the Roadless Rule after 18 months of public hearings from over 600 areas of the United States. Another section of the Associated Press article on the decision explains that under the 1969 Wilderness Act, "only Congress can create wilderness areas."

I'm no expert, but it seems to me that the world contained wilderness areas well before Congress started "creating" them in 1969. Whether Congress or anyone else officially recognizes them, these places, which have been around for millions of years, are becoming increasingly precious as nature's last sanctuaries kept free of man's footprint. When you look at the big picture, it's ridiculous to argue over whether the places protected by the Roadless Rule have "wilderness" or "roadless" or any other status. The point is they are worth saving.

Cliff Lobaugh


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