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Roadless Area Legislation Falters

On the 25th of July, only a few days after Representative Inslee pulled his House legislation to prohibit road building on National Forest Roadless areas (see HUPC LYNX 6/02) - a real setback to the efforts at legislatively protecting National Forest roadless lands, Senator Cantwell (D-WA), joined by Senator John Warren (R-VA), introduced the Senate version of the National Roadless Area Conservation Act. Both admitted there was little chance for action this year, but at least the process moves forward. The House legislation simply got mired down in the hysteria over fires burning in the West, a hostile administration and too many Western politicians who genuinely love to blame, as senseless as it is, roadless areas and wild land for any number of problems.

On the other hand, all of this was imminently predictable as we've noted numerous times (HUPC LYNX 6/02, 12/01, 8/01, 6/01, 6/00, 4/00. 2/00). Like it or not, protecting roadless lands will start first on the forests where they rest and from an ecological sense of place, from a personal passion and wisdom about those places, and from a triumphant voice participating in the preservation of those places.

Dick Carter


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