NRDC Applauds Legislation to Support the Roadless Area Conservation Rule

Statement by NRDC President John Adams

WASHINGTON, DC (June 5, 2002) -- NRDC applauds members of the U.S. Congress who are introducing legislation today to support the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, a national commitment to protect some of our nation's most treasured wild forest lands from logging, roadbuilding and other harmful activities. Despite broad support and a record amount of public input, the Bush administration is working to weaken the rule with loopholes and exemptions. Because the White House has put timber industry allies in charge of wildlands policy and closed its doors to the overwhelming majority of the American public on this issue, as on so many others, it has become critical for Congress to act to protect the wildest of our national forest lands.

"From Alaska to Florida, our roadless forest areas include millions of acres that are like nowhere else on Earth. They include treasures like the Tongass National Forest, where 30 timber sales in pristine old growth areas are currently planned. The Tongass is a remote coastal rainforest with ice-capped peaks, hanging glaciers, fog-shrouded islands, wild and scenic rivers, and towering groves of ancient trees. Equally deserving of protection is the Apalachicola Savannahs Roadless Area, home to 100 species of wildflowers and wildlife including fox, black bear, hawks, numerous songbirds, and the endangered Red-cockaded woodpecker. These and other roadless forest areas from coast to coast are part of our natural heritage and should be protected for future generations."

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 500,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.