am pleased and proud to bring you news of a landmark court victory won by Earthjustice, with your support, after 13 years of legal struggle.
Nearly 50 million acres of America's richest natural resourceour National Forestsare now protected by a decree of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court has firmly, and unanimously, taken the side of you and me and the vast majority of citizens who love our forests just the way they are: thick with trees and wildlife, their waters running free and pure.
This ruling, which reinstates the Roadless Rule, is so powerfully constructed that we believe it can withstand further challenge.
We won despite an array of industry foes and an army of lobbyists who sought to unleash road pavers and clearcutters and mining engineers in some of our most pristine natural sanctuaries. You stood tall against this threat and wouldn't yield. And because you wouldn't quit, we stood taller.
Even during the darkest years of the Bush administration, emboldened by your faith in us, we took everything they dished outin court and in publicand gave it right back. It has been a tough, tough fight ... and more. Earthjustice Attorney Doug Honnold described it thusly: "This is really an amazing story, with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears."
And Doug should know. He is one of the key Earthjustice attorneysalong with Jim Angell, Kristen Boyles, Todd True, Tom Waldo and Tim Presowho spent years shedding those blood, sweat and tears.
What a victory they, and you, have wrought. Its reverberations are echoing across our great land, and we hope are echoing especially loud on Capitol Hill and in the White House. We trust that the Obama administration now will support and enforce the 2001 Roadless Rule as the law of the land. As for Congress, especially one as anti-environment as this one, it's hard to be trusting. And that's why, even as we celebrate this wonderful victory, we already are girding to defend it, just as we are defending the environment in so many other ways.
In the meantime, please accept our deepest gratitude for all you did to make this moment in history a happy one.
Trip Van Noppen