“Good news for protection of NW forests we are winning it back”

A federal appeals court Wednesday blocked road construction on more than 40 million acres of pristine national forests. These lands are part of the lands that were reinstated by President Bill Clinton before he left office. His original ruling protected 58.5 million acres of forest land from commercial ventures.

Victory for the Roadless Forests
On Wednesday, a court battle that began in 2005 ended in victory for Washington, several other Western

Keep forests like this roadless

Keep forests like this roadless

states and environmental groups that sued the Forest Service after it reversed the so-called “roadless rule” in 2005.

As Gov. Chris Gregoire governor of Washington stated,”These special places provide clean water, fish and wildlife habitat and priceless recreational opportunities.

Thanks to everyone who helped save these beautiful forests.

Wednesday’s decision does not affect 9.3 million acres of roadless areas in Idaho, said David Hensley, Gov. Butch Otter’s legal counsel.
Former Gov. Jim Risch, Idaho’s designed a roadless plan for Idaho which stepped up protections in some roadless areas, while allowing temporary road building elsewhere, particularly for thinning trees in fire-prone areas.

Next these environmental groups will challenge the Idaho plan. This state is second only to Alaska in the number of roadless acres within the state.

The new Roadless ruling will set a precedent for the Idaho court battle. Idaho’s roadless plan is flawed because it doesn’t offer enough habitat protection for endangered species. Under the Idaho plan grizzly and caribou recovery areas in the Selkirks and the Cabinet Mountains are not adequately protected.

The Obama administration already had ordered a one-year moratorium on most road building in national forests which affirms their support of conservation of roadless areas in our national forests, and the protection of these natural resources.

However Alaska approved a timber sale last month in a roadless area of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. Tongass was exempted from roadless protection in a separate 2003 decision.

Why??Money is my guess.

Resources
Excerpts
courtesy of Spokesman.com/stories/2009/aug/06/court-ruling-shields-roadless-us-forests

Image courtesy of Media.portland.indymedia.org/images/2004/07/292009

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