Heritage Forests Campaign News Release
June 3, 2003
HERITAGE FORESTS CAMPAIGN: THE WEEK AHEAD
ROADLESS RULE -- RUMORS OF ADMINISTRATION ACTION
As early as this week, the Bush administration is expected to make an announcement regarding the Roadless Area Conservation Rule. It is being speculated that they will announce exemptions for Alaska's Tongass and Chugach National Forests from the Roadless Rule and potentially allow other states to opt out of the rule through a petition process. It is widely known the Bush administration has been planning changes to the rule, however timing up to this point has been unclear. Undersecretary Mark Rey said in February 2003 at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing that the administration intended to amend the rule in the "next few months."
The Roadless Rule is currently the law of the land following a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversing a preliminary injunction placed on the rule. While the injunction was placed on the rule, the administration issued an interim directive (ID 1920-2001-1) set to expire June 14, 2003, instructing all projects in roadless areas to be approved by the Forest Service Chief given the legal uncertainty of the rule. It is likely any decision on the roadless policy will come near this date.
MARK REY TO TESTIFY ON WILDERNESS BILLS IN SENATE
Mark Rey is scheduled to speak at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests on Wednesday, June 4, at 10:00 a.m. in Room SD-366 regarding the Wild Sky Wilderness Act of 2003 and other forest health issues.
BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION IN HOUSE AND SENATE CODIFYING ROADLESS RULE
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This Thursday, Reps. Boehlert (R-NY) and Inslee (D-NY) are holding a press conference on the Cannon Terrace at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington D.C. announcing the introduction of legislation codifying the Roadless Rule. The passage of legislation would trump any efforts by the administration to weaken roadless protections. Sens. Cantwell (D-WA) and Warner (R-VA) are expected to introduce a companion bill in the Senate on Thursday.
Contact: Tony Iallonardo, NET