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Roadless Conservation Act Introduced in Congress

by Jon Robinson (webmaster) |

With bipartisan support, the National Forest Roadless Area Conservation Act was introduced today in both houses of Congress. If passed into law, the measure will codify the Clinton era Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which protects 58.5 million acres of roadless areas in National Forests from road construction and most logging.

Senators John Warner, a Virginia Republican, and Maria Cantwell, a Washington Democrat, introduced the bill in the Senate, and Representatives Sherwood Boehlert, a New York Republican, and Jay Inslee, a Washington Democrat, introduced the act in the House

The move was greeted with approval by environmentalists. William Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society, said, "Since 1998, the American people have made it crystal clear that they support protecting the wildest places in our National Forests. Time and time again the public has expressed its unwavering support for strong protection of these magnificent wild lands."

When the roadless rule was first proposed, more than 2.3 million public comments were received in favor of protection for roadless areas - nearly 10 times greater than the level of response to any other rulemaking in federal rulemaking history, Meadows points out.