Heritage Forests Campaign Once They're Gone, They're Gone Forever
The Roadless Rule
Threats to Roadless Areas
Politics and Policy
America's Roadless Areas
Enjoying Your Wild Forests
Roadless Areas by State
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Fact Sheets & Reports
Roadless Cartoons
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Protecting America's National Forests, a report by the Heritage Forests Campaign

In This Section


" Rulemaking

" Litigation

" Public Support

" On Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill Watch

Capitol Hill Watch monitors national forests issues in the Bush Administration and Congress. Check back regularly to see what's new.




Additional Resources


On October 1, 2009, members of Congress once again announced their support for the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, "one of the most important and popular land preservation initiatives of the last 30 years" (New York Times, 7/18/04) by introducing legislation that would codify the rule.

Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), along with 22 of their Senate colleagues joined together to protect America’s last wild places and introduced S. 1738, the Roadless Area Conservation Act of 2009.

Led by Reps Jay Inslee (D-WA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Nick Rahall (D-WV), Timothy Johnson (R-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), more than 150 bipartisan members of the House of Representatives introduced a companion bill, H.R. 3692, the National Forest Roadless Area Conservation Act of 2009.

This legislation would provide permanent protection for 58.5 million acres of pristine forest land in 39 states - including 9.3 million acres of North America's only coastal temperate rainforest - Alaska's Tongass National Forest.

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Letters from Congress

Below are letters and statements from members of Congress in support of the roadless rule (ALL PDF):

The Administration

Logging America's Last Wild Forests

On May 5, 2005, the administration announced its final policy to repeal the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. The new policy entirely eliminates the national protections provided by the 2001 rule and places millions of acres of our last wild forests at immediate risk to logging, mining and other commodity development.

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Weakening Forest Plans

In November and December 2002, the Bush Administration's Forest Service issued a number of directives and changes to regulations that threaten national forest protections. The most prominent attack was on the National Forest Management Act regulations that ensure sound scientific and environmental management of our national forest lands. The new regulations weaken protections for wildlife, watersheds and roadless areas.

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Logging Under the Guise of Fire Prevention

The Healthy Forests Restoration Act

Despite efforts to craft a more balanced wildfire policy, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate passed the President's so-called "Healthy Forest Initiative," in the form of a bill sponsored by Rep. Scott McInnis (R-CO). This bill allows timber companies to log in the backcountry of our national forestsfar away from homes and communitiesunder the guise of fire prevention. The Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 was signed into law the President on December 3, 2003.

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Additional Resources

U.S. Capitol, photo courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture

Below are a number of internet-based resources that will keep you up to date on the latest happenings on Capitol Hill:


Federal Agencies

The White House

Regulations and Federal Register Notices

Photos of Forests