A decade after it was first adopted by the U.S. Forest Service, the Roadless Area Conservation Rule has proven to be remarkably successful in protecting the 58.5 million acres of national forest roadless areas from road building and logging.
Brent Martin (Wilderness Society), Smoky Mountain News
Mar 2, 2011
When the Weeks Act was passed by Congress 100 years ago, the region’s forests were, for the most part, in a severely cut over, degraded condition. Champion Fiber (later to become Champion Lumber), Ritter, Andrews, and Gennett Lumber companies, along with many others, had clearcut tens of thousands of acres in the Western North Carolina mountains in the early 20th century and left in their collective wake a landscape of silt-filled streams and fire-ravaged hillsides.
"If you look back at the founding principles of having a system of public lands, a lot of it had to do with securing supplies of water," Weldon said. "That's an underlying service the national forests can play, and we're putting more emphasis on it. It's a transition in our culture we've been in for two, almost three decades."