Heritage Forests Campaign Once They're Gone, They're Gone Forever

WASHINGTON - By Monday afternoon, the U.S. Forest Service will receive a record-breaking 2 million comments in support a major national forest conservation initiative, the Roadless Area Conservation Rule. Despite the record-breaking public support for forest protections, the Bush administration, backed by corporate special interests, may not implement the roadless rule.

"More than 2 million Americans have personally told the Forest Service to protect our national forests," said Jane Danowitz, Director of the Heritage Forests Campaign. "But the real question is whether the Bush administration will listen to the American people or will he continue catering to the timber industry who want to destroy these lands."

Congressional leaders and environmentalists are calling on the Bush administration to stop ignoring the overwhelming public support for forest protections, by implementing the roadless rule. In the last 60 days, over 500,000 comments have been submitted ­ more than 8,000 per day.

Across the country this week, environmental leaders, public officials, clergy, conservationists, and concerned citizens have rallied to show their support for the roadless rule, and submitted their comments to the Forest Service.

The Roadless Area Conservation Rule was finalized in January, after more than three years of study, 600 public hearings, and more than 1.6 million comments. But the Bush administration, citing insufficient public input, delayed implementation of the balanced rule, and in July, ordered another 60-day comment period, which ends September 10. By that date, more than 2 million public comments will have been delivered to the Forest Service.

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

The Heritage Forests Campaign is an alliance of conservationists, wildlife advocates, clergy, educators, scientists, and other Americans working together to uphold protection of our National Forests. Heritage Forests Campaign's partners include Alaska Rainforest Coalition, American Hiking Society, Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund, National Environmental Trust, National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, US PIRG, and The Wilderness Society.

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Heritage Forests Campaign News Release

September 6, 2001

Americans Call on Bush to Listen to Public, Not Industry

Historic 2 Million Americans Want Our National Forests Protected

Photos of Forests