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
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Fact Sheets & Reports
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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

Our Forests At Risk Bush Administration Opens Forests to Logging

The latest:

State Attorneys General Sue to Restore Roadless Rule

On August 30th, the Attorneys General of California, New Mexico and Oregon filed a legal challenge to the Bush administration's repeal of the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. Until its repeal was announced in early May, the rule permanently protected inventoried roadless areas in National Forests. This is the first legal challenge to the Administration's policy.

These three states contain almost eight million acres of pristine national forests which were protected from road building and resource extraction under the 2001 rule prior to its repeal. Protections for 58.5 million acres of wild national forests are at stake nationwide. In July, 145 Members of Congress introduced bi-partisan legislation calling for real protections for the National Forests by codifying the 2001 rule into law.

Though the Bush administration justified its repeal of national forest protections by saying it was returning power to the states, the actions taken today once again show that the Administration is failing to accomplish its stated aim because the process for submitting a petition is onerous and costly to states, states lack the expertise or desire to participate, and they have no assurance whatsoever that their requests will be honored.

These three AGs represent states where almost 600,000 residents submitted comments on roadless protections, the vast majority calling for strong protections.

Find out more:

Other Recent Developments

Background: On May 5th, the Bush Administration declared that it is repealing the Roadless Area Conservation Rule. The repeal ends years of speculation over the fate of a policy that protected millions of acres of national forests. It effectively ends all protection for these forests and should be considered a huge victory for the timber and mining industries.

Lawmakers express opposition to Roadless Rule repeal:
Read statements by Senators Bingaman, Cantwell and Clinton, House Minority Leader Pelosi and Congressmembers Blumenauer, Hinchey, Inslee, Rahall, Solis, and Udall.

More information:
Read HFC's press release as well as statements from HFC Director Robert Vandermark and NET President Philip Clapp.

Want details? Check out this short analysis of the Administration's new rule.

Rule is Vital; Enjoys Broad Support:


On July 12th, the Bush administration announced a proposal to repeal the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which was enacted in January 2001 to protect the last pristine thirty percent of our national forests from logging and road-building. The administration plans to replace the rule with a meaningless process that allows governors to petition for protection of roadless areas in their states or for more logging, mining and drilling.

The day this proposal takes effect, millions of acres of our last wild forests will be immediately at risk.

Legal Status and Analysis

Public Comments Overwhelmingly Support the Rule

Elected Officials Oppose the Repeal

Newspapers Across the Country Oppose the Repeal

  • Editorials blast the Administration's Roadless Rule abandonment.

Industry Opposes the Repeal

Analysis and Comment from HFC

Photos of Forests