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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                

August 5, 2009

Contact: Kristina Johnson

(415) 977-5619

 

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Roadless Area Protections

 

San Francisco, CA - The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today affirmed protection for over 40 million acres of wild national forests and grasslands from new road building, logging, and development.  The decision puts an end to the Bush administration’s efforts to open these last great natural areas to development. Today’s ruling protects the majority of national forest roadless areas in the country.

 

Today’s ruling not only affirms and reinstates the most popular environmental rule of all time, it frees the Obama administration to pursue President Obama’s pledge to “support and defend” the 2001 Rule including appealing an adverse ruling from a Wyoming federal court, ending the roadless protection exemption for the Tongass National Forest, and refraining from endorsing state-based roadless plans, like the one just proposed in Colorado.

 

Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope:

 

This decision is a victory for campers, hikers, hunters, anglers, and all Americans who enjoy the wild forests that make our nation unique.

 

Now the Obama administration has an opportunity to take the steps necessary to provide protections for all of our nation’s remaining roadless areas, including the Tongass National Forest. By unequivocally rejecting the Bush administration's attempts to remove protections for roadless areas, today's decision paves the way for President Obama to uphold and defend the 2001 Roadless Rule.

 

The outpouring of public support for upholding the Roadless Rule has been staggering. Millions of Americans weighed in on this issue, and now their voices have finally been heard.

 

Deep public support for roadless area protection and hard fought battles helped us keep the majority of our roadless areas safe despite attacks from the Bush administration. We are proud that only seven miles of roads were built and 535 acres of trees logged in roadless areas since 2001. We now look forward to securing permanent protection for these areas.

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