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Protecting America's National Forests, a report by the Heritage Forests Campaign

Life Stinks Without the Roadless Rule

With the Bush administration claiming to protect America’s roadless forests, while working behind closed doors to gut protections for these places, the administration is sending mixed signals. To clear the air, the Heritage Forests Campaign is launching a three-week advertising campaign in National Journal’s Congress Daily, and passing out tree-shaped, alpine-scented air fresheners all over town with a crisp message: Upholding America’s roadless rule would be a breath of fresh air.

"Life stinks without the roadless rule," the ads read. Crafted with years of scientific research and overwhelming public participation, the rule protects nearly 60 million acres of pristine forests. These areas provide clean drinking water to millions of Americans, a haven for bears, salmon and other wildlife, and endless recreational opportunities. Air, water, nature -- all of which are essential to the quality of our lives.

And yet the Bush administration is selling off our quality of life to the highest bidder. In the last few months alone, the administration failed to appeal an adverse court decision on the roadless rule, proposed exempting Alaska from the rule, and announced its intention to revise the entire rule. The administration is also pushing large-scale timber projects in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest roadless areas, and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) has attached a rider to the Interior Appropriations bill that would severely limit public participation in the management of the Tongass the world’s largest coastal temperate rainforest.

Washington is certainly not known for clean air, but more for its "hot" air. But gutting the most popular rule in federal history, while claiming to support it, is more than just deceptive, it downright stinks. Upholding America’s roadless rule would be a breath of fresh air.

Contact: Tony Iallonardo, NET
(202) 887-8855 or (202) 271-8602

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