Forty-Five Members of Congress Urge President to Resist Efforts to Implement Clinton-Era Roadless Rule, by Tom Randall

BACKGROUND: U.S. House Western Caucus Member John Thune (R-SD), Caucus Chairman Richard Pombo and Scott McInnis, chairman of the Forests and Forest Health Subcommittee were joined, on June 5, 2002, by 42 other Representatives in signing a letter to President Bush urging him to resist efforts by environmental extremists to codify by legislation or executive action the Clinton-enacted Roadless Area Conservation Rule.

The rule, developed in secret by the Clinton Administration and the Heritage Forests Campaign, closed off 58 million acres of public land to road building, denying access to these huge expanses of our national heritage to nearly all Americans.

The Federal District Court in Idaho has placed an injunction on implementation of the rule because it was created illegally and the Bush Administration has set out to find alternatives to it.

TEN SECOND RESPONSE: “This hastily developed and legally flawed Clinton-era roadless area rule doesn’t represent sound management decisions for our forests.” — Rep. Richard Pombo

TEN SECOND RESPONSE: “The Roadless Area Conservation Rule would cut off access to significant portions of our national forests, increase the risk of catastrophic fire, and further disturb the economy of numerous rural communities.” — Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA)

TEN SECOND RESPONSE: “It is nothing short of astounding that national environmental groups and certain elected officials in Washington, DC continue to push the rule in the face of a federal judge’s injunction.” — Rep. Scott McInnis

TEN SECOND RESPONSE: “The last thing states like Idaho need is a one-size fits all roadless policy. The best public policy starts locally where every stakeholder has a voice and seat at the table.” — Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)

TEN SECOND RESPONSE: “Given that the courts have already ruled that the current law on the books is ‘grossly inadequate,’ it is incumbent on this Congress and Administration to act soon to correct this poorly contrived policy.” — Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R-MT)

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