Rule change praised |

Rule change praised

I also love forests and wildlife, and I am thrilled to see the Clinton-era “Roadless Rule” changed. As it stood before the change, bureaucrats in D.C. could decide the fate of roads into the backcountry, with the stated preference to decommission “unneeded” or “substandard” roads.

Who decides what’s unneeded? If only 50 people a month access the backcountry by a particular road, does that mean it’s unneeded? What if a fire breaks out in the area?

Most roads into the backcountry are substandard by definition: narrow, dirt or gravel and subject to “decommissioning” because of that. The true purpose of the “Roadless Rules” under Chief Dombeck was to severely limit use of public lands, with no consideration of recreational use or fire access.

Most of the 2 million-plus comments to the Forest Service about the rules were form e-mails sent by urban/armchair environmentalists with little/no knowledge of forest uses.

Forest Service lands are federal, but they are public and were set aside for public use and recreation. The current administration is trying to put more decisions about our forests into local hands, rather than leaving it up to the pencil-pushing political players in D.C.

Heather Donesky

Nevada City

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