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Heritage Forests Campaign News Release

November 30, 2006

Dave Bard,

Statement of Mat Jacobson, deputy director, Heritage Forests Campaign,

On Gov. Risch's clarifications to the Roadless Area Conservation National Advisory Committee (RACNAC)

Washington, D.C. - Gov. James Risch of Idaho has recently come under fire for petitioning the U.S. Forest Service to open up 80% of the roadless areas within Idaho's National Forests to logging and road building. At this week's RACNAC meeting, however, the governor stated repeatedly that he intends to manage more than 8.5 million acres of roadless forests in a way that is consistent with the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. According to the 2001 rule, road building is prohibited in these areas - with limited exceptions.

"We remain greatly concerned at the discrepancy between the governor's statements and the contents of the petition he submitted proposing that more than 80% of these lands be opened to logging and road construction. We are also concerned that, even under his new proposal, half a million acres would be opened to development. The advisory committee has asked that the governor's position be clarified in Idaho's final Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Should the governor follow through on his commitment, it would alleviate many of our concerns.

"The gaping discrepancy between what the governor said and the content of the petition he submitted, along with the half a million acres opened to development, demonstrate once again the need for a clear national rule with complete protection for all roadless areas."


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