Sierra Club

AUGUST 30, 2005
4:20 PM

CONTACT: Sierra Club
Annie Strickler, (202) 675-2384


Sierra Club Statement on California, New Mexico and Oregon Lawsuit Against the Forest Service over Roadless Rule

WASHINGTON - August 30 - Earlier today, Attorneys General in California and New Mexico joined the Governor of Oregon in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against the U.S. Forest Service to restore protection for wild forests in their states. Below is a statement by Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director:

"Today, the Sierra Club applauds the states of California, New Mexico and Oregon for taking bold action to protect their states' National Forests. Earlier this year, the Bush administration formally repealed the landmark 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. In its place they inserted a sham process requiring a multi-step unfunded mandate.

"These states recognize that under the administration's 2005 Roadless Rule, the Federal government is shirking its responsibility to protect America's few remaining roadless areas. These are areas of national significance and they deserve a single, nation-wide policy to protect them--not a piecemeal state-by-state approach.

"The original Roadless Rule was the product of exhaustive studies and scientific, economic and public input, including 600 public meetings. Unprecedented in its overwhelming popularity, the rule garnered 10 times more public comments than any federal rule in history. Sadly, the concerns of millions of Americans met deaf ears, while the administration hung on the words of a handful of timber industry lobbyists by hastily replacing the original rule with an ill-conceived plan that forces a convoluted process on governors and leaves America's last remaining wild forests at risk.

"We applaud California, New Mexico and Oregon for taking the lead and fighting for the clean water, recreational opportunities, economic benefits and wildlife habitat that these forests provide the country."