Jane Danowitz, director of the Pew Environment Group's U.S. public lands program, today issued the following statement on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling to uphold a lower court decision reinstating the Roadless Area Conservation Rule.
"Today is a victory for one of the most important land protection measures of the decade. It is now up to President Obama to fulfill his pledge to permanently protect our unspoiled forests by resurrecting the Roadless Rule.
"The Obama administration's recent ‘time out' directive on activity in roadless areas is a good first step, but more than ever our last unspoiled national forests need permanent protection under a national rule. We hope the President will put the full weight of his administration behind reinstating this landmark policy."
Background: In 2005, the Bush administration attempted to replace the popular environmental policy, issued in 2001, which protects roughly 60 million acres of America's remaining undeveloped national forestland with a discretionary state-based petition process. In June 2009, the Pew Environment Group praised the Obama administration for calling a “time out” on activity in roadless areas until legal and administrative conflicts are resolved.