Statement on Release of the Forest Service's Roadless Area Final Environmental Impact Statement

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Statement of Robert Dewey, Defenders of Wildlife's Vice President for Government Relations and External Affairs

(11/14/2000) - The Roadless Area Final Environmental Impact Statement issued on November 14, 2000 by the U.S. Forest Service is a huge advancement over the draft issued last spring and moves the roadless protection effort to within striking distance of being an unqualified and historic victory for wildlife and wildlands.

The Forest Service has clearly paid attention to the nearly 2 million Americans who urged the agency to prohibit commercial logging in roadless areas and not exclude the Tongass National Forest in Alaska from roadless area protection.

Defenders of Wildlife celebrates these huge conservation advances. However, we will continue to press President Clinton and the Forest Service to make a few critical changes before the roadless policy becomes final. Most important, we believe that protection of the Tongass National Forest should not be postponed for four years.

With more roadless areas than any other national forest, the Tongass is the forest with the most to lose from delay. We will continue to press for the Tongass National Forest to receive the immediate protection it deserves and so desperately needs. We will also work to see that strict limits are placed on so-called ‘stewardship’ logging which could become just a loophole for unnecessary logging.

For more information on this issue, please visit Roadless Area Conservation.

Defenders of Wildlife is a leading nonprofit conservation organization recognized as one of the nation’s most progressive advocates for wildlife and its habitat, and has led efforts for wolf restoration in the lower 48 states for more than 30 years. With more than 430,000 members and supporters, Defenders of Wildlife is an effective leader on endangered species issues.

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Contact(s):

Cat Lazaroff, (202) 772-3270