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
Get Involved
Fact Sheets & Reports
Roadless Cartoons
About HFC
April Fools
Check out our ad archive
Join The Heritage Forests Campaign
Let your friends know about Heritage Forests Campaign

Heritage Forests Campaign News Release

July 20, 2004

Capitol Hill News Conference

Statement of Tiernan Sittenfeld Co-Director, Heritage Forests Campaign

Hi, my name is Tiernan Sittenfeld and Iím the Co-Director of the Heritage Forests Campaign and the Conservation Program Director for U.S. PIRG. The Heritage Forests Campaign's partners include the Alaska Rainforest Campaign, American Lands Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, National Environmental Trust, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, U.S. PIRG, The Wilderness Society, and many state and local organizations across the country. We thank Senator Cantwell, and Representatives Inslee, DeLauro, Hinchey, and Blumenauer for being here today and for leading the fight to protect Americaís last wild forests.

Less than three months ago, we gathered at this very spot to call on the Bush administration to keep its promise to uphold the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, a historic conservation initiative enacted in January 2001 to protect the last pristine thirty percent of our national forests from logging and road-building. Unfortunately, last week the administration broke that promise when Agriculture Secretary Veneman announced a proposal to repeal the Roadless Rule. The administration plans to replace the rule with a meaningless process that allows governors to petition for protection of roadless areas in their states Ė or for more logging, mining and drilling. Let us be clear: the day this proposal takes effect, millions of acres of our last wild forests will be immediately at risk.

The Bush administrationís repeal of the Roadless Rule is one of their biggest and most brazen attacks on the environment to date, especially given that it ignores the 2.5 million comments the Forest Service has received in support of the rule. Itís time for the Bush administration to stop catering to corporate special interests and start respecting the public interest. Instead of doing the bidding of the timber industry, the administration should abandon their ill-advised proposal to repeal the Roadless Rule.

During the public comment period that has just begun, we know that Americans across country will be calling on the Bush administration to keep the rule in place in the Lower 48 and in Alaskaís Chugach National Forest and to reinstate the Rule in Alaskaís Tongass Rainforest.

# # #

For additional information, contact Robert Vandermark, at 202-887-8800.

The Heritage Forests Campaign is an alliance of conservationists, wildlife advocates, clergy, educators, scientists, and other Americans who are working together to uphold protection of our National Forests. To learn more, visit: ourforests.org

Photos of Forests