Roadless forests, anyone?

Editor’s note: I am probably the last person in town that should be writing about forest issues, but I will publish the USDA press releases as I receive them when they concern the forest in this area. Your comments, either for or against these changes, are welcome. The following concerns roadless areas in national forests. I am aware that lawsuits were filed to try to block this change, but don’t have copies of the complaints, which were defeated in court. To see a map of lands near Happy Camp that will be affected, Adobe Acrobat users can access this one: Klamath National Forest – Roadless Areas Map.

WASHINGTON, DC, June 7, 2001 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth today directed agency managers to move forward to protect roadless values in national forests and grasslands in a manner consistent with USDA policies. The guidance, issued in a letter to regional foresters, reserves to the Chief authority for all decisions about timber harvest and road construction in inventoried roadless areas – with exceptions similar to the Jan. 12, 2001 rule published in the Federal Register.

A recent court decision (Idaho v. Dombeck) temporarily enjoined the Forest Service from implementing the roadless area conservation rule of Jan. 12. The Chief’s action provides immediate protections in designated roadless areas until long-term protections are in place under the forest planning process.

To read the Chief’s letter, visit: http://roadless.fs.fed.us.

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