A Care2 Victory!
More than ten years after President Clinton banned roads and logging on the last roadless areas on our nation’s forests, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has the final say — 49 million acres of America’s national forests will remain wild under the Roadless Rule. Yay!
Huge Victory For The Wilderness Experience
This is a huge victory for believers in the importance of the wilderness experience.
As a lover of the wilderness, and of the amazing experience of hiking in the wilderness, away from all technology and dependent solely on my abilities to survive alone, I hail this victory as awesome!
The court has firmly, and unanimously, taken the side of 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.
U.S. Court Of Appeals Permanently Protects 49 Million Acres
In other words, the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling Oct. 21 that permanently protects some 49 million acres of forests covered by Clinton’s 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. The ruling, a result of a lawsuit in which Earthjustice intervened on behalf of The Wilderness Society and other conservation groups, should put an end to a decade-long legal battle waged by the timber industry, Bush administration and the states of Alaska, Idaho and Wyoming.
This ruling, which reinstates the Roadless Rule, is so powerfully constructed that it should be able to withstand further challenge.
Wilderness Society: We Won!!
As The Wilderness Society explains:
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 out—in court and in public—and 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 attorneys—along with Jim Angell, Kristen Boyles, Todd True, Tom Waldo and Tim Preso—who 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.
Roadless Area Conservation Adopted By U.S. Forest Service in 2001
The landmark Roadless Area Conservation Rule was adopted by the U.S. Forest Service on January 12, 2001, after the most extensive public involvement in the history of federal rulemaking. It generally prohibited road construction and timber cutting in 58.5 million acres of inventoried roadless areas, about 30 percent of the National Forest System. But the rule was immediately subjected to legal challenges and attacks by the Bush Administration, which sought to open the lands up to unneeded timber production and other destructive activities.
National forests play a vital role in protecting supplies of clean drinking water — holding the headwaters that provide drinking water to millions of people across the country. In addition, roadless forests preserve high-quality habitat for many kinds of fish and wildlife.
A study by the Forest Service shows that recreation activities on national forests and grasslands have helped to sustain an estimated 223,000 jobs in rural areas and contributed approximately $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy.