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Little Impact On Logging By New Policy To Protect Last Remaining Wild Forests

  • The U.S. Forest Service's new Roadless Area Conservation Policy carefully maintains a balance between National Forest lands valued for recreation and the national need for timber. In fact, the policy does not touch the 51 percent of National Forests now open for logging, mining, and drilling.

  • National Forests provide only 5 percent of the nation's timber supply, of which less than 5 percent comes from areas protected from industrial development under the new policy. This means the Roadless Area Conservation Policy affects less than one-quarter of 1 percent of the nation's timber.

  • The real economic value of National Forests comes from recreational use, which the new rule carefully preserves. According to the U.S. Forest Service, approximately 85 percent of the revenue generated from America's National Forests comes from recreational activities--more than five times the amount generated by logging. Further, the U.S. treasury lost $1 billion administering timber sales on National Forests during a recent five-year period.

  • Currently, the 58.5 million unspoiled acres affected by the policy provide an estimated $600 million in recreational benefits each year, and nearly 24,000 jobs.

  • In many Western states, much of the timber covered by the new rule is dominated by low-valued trees, located in remote, isolated, steep stands that require special logging techniques.

  • The Forest Service cannot even maintain the roads now used for logging, with the current maintenance backlog reaching over $8 billion dollars. Currently, America's National Forests have nine times more miles (378,000) than exist in the entire U.S. Interstate Highway System (42,000) or enough to circle the globe nearly 16 times.

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