TraditionalMountaineering Logo - representing the shared 
companionship of the Climb

Home | Information | Photos | Calendar | News | Seminars | Experiences | Questions | Updates | Books | Conditions | Links | Search

  Search this site!
Read more:

Nation's forests might be on a road to ruin
OpEd by President Bill Clinton


By Bill Clinton
Special to the Los Angeles Times, 08-08-2004

A century ago, Theodore Roosevelt warned against despoiling the environment, saying "to waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed." As president, I worked hard to heed that warning.

With the active support of 1.5 million citizens, in January 2001, my administration issued the Roadless Area Conservation Rule to limit logging and development in nearly 60 million acres of national forests where there were no roads already built. The Natural Resources Defense Council called it the most important forest conservation measure of the past century.

But now, the "roadless rule" faces a threat. In recent weeks, the Bush administration has announced its proposal to eliminate it, setting the stage for trees to be cut and roads to be built in forests throughout our land. The administration claims that forests can still be protected even without the rule. However, under its plan, current policy would be stood on its head: Governors would be required to petition the Forest Service to keep certain forests roadless, ignoring the stark political reality that few governors are likely to stand up to the pressure of timber companies and other special interests to protect national forests in their states. Opponents of the roadless rule also argue that it increases the risk of forest fires. That is wrong because the. rule specifically gives the U. S. Forest Service the power to build a road, fight a fire or thin an area to reduce fire risk. And we also know from experience that the way to minimize hazards is by devoting federal resources to reducing risks near homes and communities, not by logging backcountry lands. The roadless rule struck a balance between the environment and the economy.

The forest road network is already eight times as big as the interstate highway system. And our rule allows logging and other commercial activity to continue on more than half of national forest lands. In fact, the timber supply that was placed off-limits to the timber industry amounts to one-quarter of 1 percent of what our nation now produces.

The wild lands that are now protected by the roadless rule are a fragile and priceless gift to all Americans. Once lost, they are gone forever. In fact, the only reason these forests exist today is because our forebears had the wisdom to know they needed to be protected. By enacting the roadless rule, America renewed its commitment to safeguard these natural treasures for future generations to enjoy.

America's national forests are essential sources of clean water and clean air and havens for wildlife. But, more than that, they are temples for the renewal of the human spirit. One of the Americans who inspired Theodore Roosevelt to conserve our nation's forests was the naturalist John Muir, who once said, "Everybody needs beauty as well as places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." In today's fast-paced, high tech world, Muir's words are even more compelling. In announcing the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, I said: "Sometimes progress comes by expanding frontiers: But sometimes it's measured by preserving frontiers for our children."

The roadless rule came about after the largest outpouring of public support in the history of federal rule-making. The American people have a new opportunity, and a responsibility, to speak up once again. Through Sept. 16, the Forest Service will accept public comment on the Bush plan. I encourage everyone to make his or her voice heard to ensure that America the Beautiful remains just as beautiful for generations to come.

Bill Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States.



Read more . . .
Mark Fiore animates the Bush Roadless Rule  You will love this!  

Mark Fiore animates the Democratic Convention   and this too!!

Backpacking Big Indian Gorge in The Steens 
Owyhee Canyon wilderness study area in south east Oregon 
ONDA's Owyhee wilderness inventory camp near Rome, Oregon 
NOLS group on an Owyhee River Canyon adventure 
Owyhee River desert lands - Jordan Valley Rodeo 
Steens Mountain wedding in Eastern Oregon  

  The Badlands Wilderness
BLM posts Reward for information on Juniper rustlers
BLM weighing public input on management plan
Oregon's Badlands hit by old growth Juniper rustlers  Photos
Congressman Greg Walden to visit The Badlands
Badlands Wilderness endorsed by COTA
OpEd - Unregulated OHV use is being reviewed across the western states
OHV use curtailed by new USFS policy decisions 
Sierra Club's Juniper Group supports Badlands Wilderness 
OHV regulation discussed at BLM meeting in Bend, Oregon
OpEd - Badlands part of BLM's recreation management area
OpEd - We need the Badlands Wilderness 
OpEd - Off-roaders have no reason to fear Badlands Wilderness designation
Speak for the Badlands at Town Hall Meeting 
Hiking poles are becoming essential gear 
Vandals destroy ancient pictographs in the Badlands
Senator Wyden tests support of Badlands Wilderness
Badlands Wilderness endorsed by Bend City Commissioners
The Badlands: proposed for Wilderness status

The Badlands, a brief history  
The Badlands pictographs reported 75 year ago

Map of huge exclusive OHV areas adjoining the Badlands  

Nation's forests might be on the road to ruin, by President Bill Clinton
Wilderness at risk from new Bush policies
Steens management scandal may affect wilderness study areas  
BLM outsourced Steens Management Plan to mining industry leaders!
Owyhee River wilderness study area inventory with ONDA
OHV vandals charged in Yellowstone
Oregon's B and B Complex fire closure modified 
Senate says NO to Big Oil in Alaska 
Gloria Flora - Environmental Hero 
Re-introducing wolves into Oregon 
George Bush overlooking the environment