VICTORY: U.S. Roadless Forests Sleep More Safely for Now
The on again, off again, U.S. roadless forest rules of former President Clinton are back in effect. In a setback for the Bush administration, a federal judge rejected a rule that allowed logging roads in national forests' last large roadless [search] wilderness areas. Whoop, whoo - this is a major victory for the many groups working daily on this matter for years - a movement really - of which Ecological Internet and our network has been a part - including generating thousands of comments in the rules original formulation. We have done at least a half dozen alerts on the matter over the past 10 years (for an oldie but goodie see this 2001 alert). Ecological Internet and its predecessors including Forests.org are becoming ancient like the forests they seek to protect ;-)
There will always be accountants saying it is justified to liquidate ancient, ecologically intact, and evolutionarily original natural ecosystems. The world's last large roadless forests are priceless ecological treasures that power many of the atmospheric/terrestrial processes of energy and nutrient cycling that powers Gaia. Achieving global ecological sustainability demands that ALL ancient forests must be protected as global ecological reserves and funding mechanisms found to compensate those forgoing logging and other industrial use. That all measures are taken in haste to bring this about is critical for finding solutions to both the global warming and biodiversity/ecosystem conservation crises.
Sure, the timber industry and some states like Idaho are going to sue to put the control of roadless forests back in the states. But for now, the state roadless area management requests are invalid and my understanding is that as of now all inventoried roadless forests (excluding Alaska's) - tens of millions of acres - are protected again.This is a victory for the forest conservation movement of which you have played a part. For the rest of time green humanity will have to keep watch over - being always vigalante of protecting the biosphere's ecological patterns and processes - and expand these ancient forests and other complex and mostly natural habitats. You protest thus we are.