The Roadless Area Conservation Rule

The Roadless Area Conservation Rule is the most significant public lands conservation measure of recent years. Protecting nearly 60 million acres of national forest land form logging and road-building, including 147,000 acres of the Quetico Superior region.

The Roadless Rule was significant and involved nearly three years of research and analysis, more than 600 public meetings, and 1.6 million public comments of which 95% were in favor of complete roadless area protection. From the Quetico Superior region (Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) 96% of the 75,967 comments supported the Roadless Rule. When completed in January 2001, people across the country celebrated and praised the efforts of the Forest Service to preserve American’s forest legacy for future generations.

The Bush administration delayed implementation of the rule. Then, in July 2004 the administration announced plans to put the fate of these federal lands in the hands of the state governors to petition the federal government for protection of their state’s wild national forest lands.
Only about 17 percent of the national forests in Quetico Superior region remain wild and intact. Of these areas, the majority have been protected by Congress. However, there remain 147,000 roadless acres that could only be protected by the Roadless Area Conservation Rule. We have the opportunity to contact the Forest Service before the September 14th deadline to express our support for keeping the Rule in place.
E-mail: statepetitionroadless@fs.fed.us or visit www.regulations.gov for more information.

This article appeared in Wilderness News Summer 2004

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