America's Roadless Forests Threatened
President Bush deserves plaudits for his disingeous dismantling of roadless forest protections. First his administration refused to defend the rule in court without actually rolling them back, as courts threatened their position they then introduced a new rule passing management of federal forests to the states, and they have now finally succeeded in court because their new rule trumps the old one that was never actually implemented in the first place! This is a textbook example of resource cronyism, albeit through subtle maneuvering. President Bush would sell and/or destroy any natural wonder for the right price - monetary or political support.
President Clinton let down America's last great roadless forest landscapes in a more overt manner - saving their protection for the last moment, in order to leave a political mine-field rather than out of ecological concern. Isn't it interesting how he now speaks so frequently of environmental matters? America has witnessed a bi-partisan swindling of its citizens' forest heritage. Perhaps pending legislation and further court cases can protect these roadless forests, but given the corrupt influence of the growth machine upon American politics, I would not count on it.
Loss of many if not most of America's final roadless forest wildernesses will lead to the acceleration of continental scale ecological collapse.
A federal appeals court dismissed an attempt by environmental groups to restore a Clinton-era ban on logging in roadless areas of national forests, saying their appeal became irrelevant when the Bush administration adopted a replacement rule. The Clinton administration's rule put 58.5 million acres of roadless forest off-limits to logging and other development. Under the new rule, those lands, most of which are in the West, are open to road building for potential logging, mining and other commercial uses.