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roadless rule comments sought by Sept. 14

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  • gailjane2000
    ADMINISTRATION LOOKS TO ELIMINATE PROTECTIONS FOR ROADLESS AREAS IN AMERICA S NATIONAL FORESTS Audubon Calls on American s Who Care About Our Forests Future
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 22 8:48 PM
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      ADMINISTRATION LOOKS TO ELIMINATE PROTECTIONS FOR ROADLESS AREAS IN
      AMERICA'S NATIONAL FORESTS

      Audubon Calls on American's Who Care About Our Forests'
      Future to
      Voice Their Concerns During Public Comment Period



      Washington, DC, Thursday, July 29, 2004 – In a move widely
      condemned
      by conservationists, sportsmen's associations, and outdoor
      recreation
      groups, the Bush Administration announced plans July 12 to eliminate
      the Clinton-era Roadless Area Conservation Rule limiting logging and
      development in 58.5 million acres of national forest. Today, Audubon
      calls on Americans who care about the environment to let the
      Administration know how they feel during the public comment period
      ending September 14. They can take action on Audubon's website at
      http://www.capitolconnect.com/audubon/summary.asp?subject=336.

      The Roadless Rule was adopted in 2001 after two years of public
      participation, including hearings throughout the country and comment
      periods. The public overwhelmingly supported the rule: more than two
      million comments were submitted in its favor. With more than half of
      America's national forest lands already subjected to road
      building,
      logging, mining, and other development, the Roadless Rule offered
      some balance, allowing for the conservation of critical habitat for
      endangered and threatened birds and other wildlife, and safeguarding
      some land for future generations.

      "The implementation of the Roadless Rule had more Americans
      commenting on it and supporting it than any other federal rule in
      U.S. history. Yet, the administration has ignored the public's
      clearly expressed desire to protect the last untouched areas of our
      national forests," said Bob Perciasepe, Audubon's chief
      operating
      officer. "We urge those Americans who care about the fate of our
      nation's forests to once again let the government know how you
      feel
      during this public comment period."

      The Administration's proposed rule provides no guaranteed
      protection
      for a single acre of roadless forest. Instead, Agliculture Secretary
      Ann Veneman has put forward a rule that would require America's
      governors to petition the U.S. Forest Service to retain roadless
      protections on national forests in their states. It would likely
      result in millions of acres being opened to road building, logging,
      development, and other activities.

      The Bush Administration's move comes one year after they stripped
      protections for the Tongass and Chugach Forests in Alaska and allowed
      states to apply for exemptions from the roadless rule. "The clear
      intent of this destructive, three-year-long policy is increased
      timber cutting and increased road building," Perciasepe stated.
      "This
      is not a policy based on what is good for birds and wildlife;
      it's a
      policy based on what's good for the special interests."

      "I urge Audubon members and our friends to fight this
      `shoot-all-the-
      buffalo' mentality," Perciasepe concluded. "We must not
      allow this
      opportunistic weakening of our nation's environmental laws, but
      should work together to protect our wild places for birds, wildlife,
      and all Americans."

      Concerned citizens can send their comments to the Administration via
      Audubon's "Take Action" website
      http://www.capitolconnect.com/audubon/summary.asp?subject=336.
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