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

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Protecting America's National Forests, a report by the Heritage Forests Campaign


In This Section


" Eliminating the Roadless Rule: Details & Analysis of the Repeal

" Roadless Rule Legal Status

" 2.5 Million and Growing by the Day: An Overview of Roadless Rule Comments

" Roadless Acreage by State (in our Get Local Section)

" Other Threats to Our Forests


The Directives

The Bush Administration and the Regulatory Effort to Undermine the Roadless Rule: A Case of Broken Promises

In May 2001, the Bush administration promised to uphold the roadless rule with minor changes, but has implemented a number of regulatory changes that only weaken roadless area protections.


"We're here today to announce the department's decision to uphold the Roadless Area Conservation Rule. Through this action, we are reaffirming the Department of Agriculture's commitment to the important challenge of protecting roadless values."
Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, USDA News Conference, May 4, 2001


CHIEF'S AUTHORITY — May 31, 2001 — "The chief of the Forest Service announced today that he would decide on logging and road building in a large expanse of the national forest system pending the outcome of legal disputes about the future of forest land."
The New York Times, June 8, 2001

FOREST PLANNING — June 11, 2001 — The Forest Service circulated draft rules that would reduce ecological considerations in forest planning. "The Bush administration may drop a Clinton policy that would have given ecological considerations priority over economic and social activities in country's 155 national forests.">
Bill McAllister, The Denver Post, June 15, 2001

LOCAL CONTROL — July 27, 2001 — The Heritage Forests Campaign circulated a draft plan "crafted by U.S. Forest Service officials [that] would give agency head Dale Bosworth more power to allow logging or road-building in national forests. The draft plan would formalize the way the Forest Service operates the Clinton administration initiative to protect 58.5 million acres of national forest lands from new road building. Under the plan, Bosworth would give officials who oversee individual forests a chance to determine what appropriate protections would be."
Greenwire, August 1, 2001

CHIEF'S AUTHORITY — August 22, 2001 — "Forest Service Chief Bosworth announces a new directive that gives him more authority over roadless area timber decisions, but it does not prevent road—building or timber sales from moving forward where forest plans have already been completed..."
Larisa Epatko, Greenwire, August 27, 2001

CATEGORICAL EXCLUSIONS — September 20, 2001 — "Forest Service Chief Bosworth proposes changes to the 'categorical exclusions' rules that would now exempt small—scale logging and road-building activities in roadless areas from the usual environmental analysis requirements."
Katherine Pfleger, Associated Press, September 26, 2001

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS — December 20, 2001 — "The Bush administration made controversial changes to former President Clinton's plan to protect roadless areas in national forests Thursday. The directives remove some land from protection offered by roadless forest policy, and weaken requirements for environmental review on 58 million acres of national forest land."
Benjamin Shors, The Spokesman-Review, December 21, 2001

Photos of Forests