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Elected Officials Denounce Administration's Actions as Forests Are Left Unprotected

[See below for photos from the July 20, 2004 Capitol Hill event in favor of the Roadless Rule.]

U.S. Senator John Kerry:
"This battle has been hard fought. A clear majority of Americans support the roadless rule and it's unfortunate that George Bush has chosen to ignore the needs of not only the wildlife, but the many Americans who enjoy recreation in these areas."

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell:
"Despite hearing from over two million Americans who said they support the Roadless Rule, this Administration has sought to dismantle the Rule since its first days in office."

U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman:
"While no rule can perfectly satisfy everyone, the roadless rule, in its current form, has struck a chord with Americans who want to ensure that the few remaining protected areas in our national forests will be there for the enjoyment of their children and grandchildren."

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson:
"It's (the Forest Service proposal) an abdication of federal responsibility in the guise of state consultation."

Washington Governor Gary Locke:
"Once again the Bush administration has abdicated its leadership on a critical environmental issue. The management of our nation’s forests demands national solutions that account for the concerns of all Americans. Washington’s national forests are important to our local communities. But they are owned by all Americans, and forest management should represent all these interests."

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski:
"I think actually what this is is an abdication of the responsibility of the secretary of agriculture to regulate and protect the federal forest lands. They are just basically putting a political issue in to the governors who do not have the authority or the responsibility to manage those federal forest lands."

U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi:
"Under the provisions announced today (July 12, 2004), governors who want to preserve our nation's wildest forests must petition the federal government for permission, with no assurance that their petitions will be accepted. In states where governors are not committed to protecting pristine forests from logging and mining, the roadless rule will simply fade away."

U.S. Representative Jay Inslee:
"...the Administration has once again chosen to favor the logging industry over the clean water, natural preservation and outdoor recreation that these roadless areas provide...Shifting the responsibility of federal forests to the states is a risky and absurd policy that will cede the management of federal lands to the whims of individual governors...I am particularly concerned that much of the acreage protected by the Roadless Rule is located in states where the governors might decline to protect these federal treasures."

U.S. Representative Maurice Hinchey:
"By eviscerating the Roadless Rule, this administration is placing the short term profits of private industry ahead of the public interest it is sworn to protect...The Roadless Rule is the most significant National Forest conservation measure of the last 100 years."

U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer:
"Today the Bush administration has turned the (roadless) rule on its head. Instead of having a uniform national standard for our forests, the administration has taken another step towards ceding responsibility for a national treasure to states...I am extremely disappointed that the President has ignored a record-breaking 2.5 million comments overwhelmingly in favor of protecting America's roadless areas, including over 58,000 comments from Oregonians."

U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall:
"While publicly promising to uphold the rule, today's announcement is akin to putting lipstick on a pig. The Administration is shirking its responsibility by implementing an essentially meaningless process that benefits a few at the expense of all Americans."

U.S. Representative George Miller:
"When it comes to a balanced forest policy, for the Bush Administration it is all timber and no trees...This new proposal is the result of a successful effort by special interests to influence policymaking...this time to tip the scale in favor of increased logging in our protected forests."

U.S. Representative Edward J. Markey:
"The American people can rightfully wonder 'If this land's still made for you and me'...This rollback of roadless area protections is a boon for timber companies at the expense of taxpayers. Once again, the Bush administration has decided to sacrifice public good for private gain."

U.S. Representative Mark Udall:
"We should not have protection only when a governor asserts that protection...Instead of demonstrating leadership, the administration is passing the buck."

Elected Officials Rally in Support of the Roadless Rule

Sen. Cantwell addresses reporters

Rep. DeLauro addresses reporters

Rep. Inslee addresses reporters

Rep. Hinchey addresses reporters

For additional information, contact Tony Iallonardo, at 202-887-8800.

For more on the Roadless Rule repeal, please go to our main Our Forests At Risk page.

Photos of Forests