Wednesday, June 05, 2002

roadless rule to become law?

A policy involving the National Forests that was born under Bill Clinton's presidency, may find it's way into becoming a law under George Bush. This policy is recognized as a "shift in focus of the U.S. Forest Service from extracting resources from the national forests to managing those lands for broader benefits, including environmental and recreational values."

One aspect of that policy was a moratorium on new roads being built in the 58 million acres of National Forests. There were a couple of reasons for this "roadless rule." One was that the U.S. Forest Service can't afford the upkeep on the roads which they are presently responsible for maintaining. Adding roads would provide an additional burden. Another was that it limited development in areas where roads weren't built. There's been some concern that a new set of policies is being crafted in Washington that would allow greater incursions into undeveloped areas. However, quite a few sponsors are working to turn the present policy into law before that happens.

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