In Defense of Forests
Officials at The Wilderness Society recall that within 24 hours of Inauguration Day, the Bush administration had suspended the Roadless Area Conservation Rule. “But after seven years, a grand total of seven miles of roads have been built,” reports Mike Anderson, a natural resources attorney for the society. “We will do our best to keep that total from reaching eight miles during the administration’s final year.”
The rule was created to prevent most road building and logging on 58.5 million undeveloped acres of the public’s national forests. Over the years, 100 million acres, more than half of all national forest, already have been damaged by 380,000 miles of roads.
In related news, legislative campaigns waged in Oregon and Washington this year aim to preserve an additional 264,700 acres in four regions there. And grassroots activists working with The Natural Resources Defense Council have won several victories in defending forestlands stretching from Kentucky and Tennessee, south through the Carolinas to Georgia and Alabama, in an area known as the Cumberland Plateau.