Washington, DC -
10/21/2011 - Jane Danowitz, director of the Pew Environment Group's U.S. public lands program, issued the following statement regarding today’s ruling from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which was issued to protect nearly 60 million acres of America’s national forests.
“Today's decision is among the most significant conservation victories in several decades. It reinforces the roadless rule as the cornerstone of protection for our national forests and preserves these landscapes for generations to come.
“The decision clears the way for the Obama administration to fulfill its promise to enforce the roadless rule as the law of the land. It also allows the administration to reject a flawed Colorado plan to manage national forests there, developed as an ‘insurance policy’ when the national rule’s legal status was in doubt.
“The importance of maintaining a national policy to preserve America’s most pristine forests cannot be overstated. Without the roadless rule, protection of these national forests would be left to a patchwork management system that in the past resulted in millions of acres lost to logging, drilling and other industrial development. We urge the Obama administration to move swiftly to ensure that all undeveloped national forests – including those in Colorado – will benefit from the rule’s safeguards.”