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

Join The Heritage Forests Campaign
Let your friends know about Heritage Forests Campaign

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

In This Section


" Repeal of the Roadless Rule

" Logging

" Mining

" Energy Extraction

Threats to Our Roadless Areas

Repeal of the Roadless Rule

On May 13, 2005 the Bush administration repealed the immensely popular Roadless Area Conservation Rule, opening nearly 60 million acres of America's last wild national forests to logging, road construction, mining, oil exploration and other forms of development.

The plan went forward over the objections of many policy-makers and citizens across the country. Under the new policy, roadless areas may receive protection only if the governors of states with roadless areas participate in a burdensome petition process in which, in the end, final approval is still left in the hands of DC bureaucrats. Find out more.


Logging and associated road building are some of the the largest contributors to the destruction of the intact ecosystems in our national forests. Logging threatens crucial fish and wildlife habitat, increases wildfire risk, and destroys the aesthetic beauty of these precious public lands. Find out more.


Mostly concentrated in the western half of the United States, mines disturb large tracts of pristine forests and release harmful toxics, such as mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium and lead into soil and groundwater. In 2000, mining contaminated more than 40 percent of the stream reaches in western U.S watersheds. Find out more.

Energy Extraction

Energy extraction associated with oil and natural gas exploration is a major threat to the conservation of roadless areas. These commercial ventures require large networks of access roads and pipelines that fragment these public lands. Drilling production contaminates groundwater and streams, which threatens fish and wildlife as well as human health. Find out more.

Photos of Forests