‘Roadless rule" | TheUnion.com

‘Roadless rule"

Speaking as someone who loves wildlife and forests, I was saddened by the decision to rescind the “roadless rule,” a rule intended to protect 58 million acres of the last wild places in our national forests.

Now, governors can “opt in” to yet another rule-making process that might allow for roadless protections in their states. However, the catch is whether former timber lobbyist and current undersecretary of agriculture Mark Rey approves. But these are federal, not state, lands. Governors shouldn’t decide!

And nobody should forget 2.5 million citizens from across the country have already loudly told the Forest Service that they prefer the original roadless rule, probably because it’s plain to see the timber industry already wields de facto control over about 70 percent of national forest lands. Now they want the last 30 percent.

Something is haywire in Washington, D.C. The Bush administration is out of touch with millions of Americans who want trees instead of stumps. All of us should remember that ownership of these national forests is one of the special blessings of being an American. The Bush administration shouldn’t try to take the decision to protect these places out of ordinary Americans’ hands.

James Woods

Penn Valley

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