You may have already read something that hit the news this week about a federal judge restricting protection for roadless forests to only nine states. The legal back and forth that has gone on since President George Bush took office can be pretty confusing. Here are the basics of what happened and why it matters:
The Wilderness Society has generated some ink and electrons by responding to a federal judge’s decision that potentially exposes 13.6 million acres of roadless forests in 29 states to exploitation. Most recently, “The Hill”, a highly influential publication in Washington, DC, asked us to write a post on its blog to explain what the ruling means to us and what we think should happen next.
Moments after I showed up for my first day on the job as a communications director at The Wilderness Society last year, my boss casually mentioned that I would be responsible for promoting the idea that wildfires aren’t always bad.
Images of flames scorching my hometown, Atlanta, raced through my head: We have a rather unique history with fire and are a bit sensitive about the subject.
“Um, what was that you said?,” I asked, looking down at all the paperwork I had just signed and wondering if I had an escape clause available.
WASHINGTON – An advisory committee meeting Nov. 18-19, agreed to make two key recommendations to Colorado and federal government agencies regarding Colorado’s attempts to establish its own roadless rule, which would weaken the 2001 national rule that currently protects roadless forests in most of the rest of the country.
When I think about birds of prey, the first idea that comes to mind is a strong sense of presence. Even more when it is the Golden eagle. This bird is the king of the skies — a great hunter living in mountainous areas.
But this royalty member, beyond its magnificent features, is vulnerable to human activities. Without our efforts to protect the roadless forests the bird calls home, human impacts would be far worse.
Throughout the past eight years, the Bush administration has treated our country’s wild lands as if they belong to industry.
Through a series of short-cut measures and regulations that have cut science and the public out of decision making, the administration has consistently rolled back environmental protections and sharply favored industrial use and exploitation of our wild lands above all other public concerns.
While concerns about the economy continue to generate huge media interest, a “Who’s Who” of national reporters turned their attention for an hour to thinking about what the new Obama Administration might mean to America’s public lands and the wildlife that call them home.
Six high school students huddled around a campfire at dusk surrounded by the Clearwater National Forest; their eyes fixed and their ears intently listened to a thrilling fireside story. However, this story was much different than the usual camp tales that force our minds to wander as something scratches the outside of our tents at night.