Copy of ENN Roadless Article

Discussion in 'Land Use' started by mudfanatic, Dec 1, 2000.

  1. mudfanatic

    mudfanatic 1/2 ton status

    Feb 18, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Aloha, Oregon
    From: Donald C. Amador, 112531,1311
    TO: "Amador",
    DATE: 11/27/00 11:42 AM

    RE: Copy of: 11/27 ENN Roadless Article

    *This is an interesting article from the Environmental News Network. It talks
    about the timber issue and "industrial" recreation. Quotes from BRC, IMBA,
    Ski Industry, Greens.

    No middle of the road to roadless recreation

    Monday, November 27, 2000
    By John Roach

    While many recreation groups are ecstatic at the thought of cavorting in lands
    free from the scars of industry and development, some environmentalists hear
    the forest service till ringing a wrong note.

    Sometime before President Clinton bids farewell to the White House, nearly 60
    million acres of roadless areas in national forests will likely be protected
    from resource extraction that typically involves roads. In place of logging
    concessions, the American public will have free reign to roam in roadless
    areas. But while many recreation groups are ecstatic at the thought of
    cavorting on lands free from the scars of industry and development, some
    environmentalists hear the forest service till ringing a wrong note.

    "The forest service is actively transitioning from being a classic extractive
    business of logging, mining and grazing to becoming a business focused on
    providing recreational opportunity to paying customers," said Scott Silver of
    Wild Wilderness in Bend, Oregon.

    Groups such as Silver's fear that industrial recreation in the form of
    off-road vehicles, ski areas and privately owned food and lodging concessions
    at the foot of roadless areas will be just as harmful to the land as chain
    saws, mine shafts and bulldozers.

    Even though industrial recreation does not result in a clear-cut landscape, it
    does cause air, water, soil, plant and noise pollution, said Sunny Sorensen of
    the Sierra Club's recreation issue committee.

    Geraldine Hughes, public policy director of the National Ski Areas
    Association, agrees.

    "The areas directly adjacent to resorts do not really have the roadless
    characteristics that we are seeking to protect through this proposal," she

    While environmentalists worry that the forest service aims to make money from
    recreation, Hughes doesn't want the roadless initiative to inhibit ski area
    expansion plans.

    "We support the protection on inventoried roadless areas," she said, "the only
    caveat being that we do not support any proposal that unnecessarily limits the
    flexibility for resorts to grow in the future."

    Clinton introduced the roadless initiative on Oct. 13, 1999 as a means to
    protect "those lands within the National Forest System that remain largely
    untouched by human intervention."

    The U.S. Forest Service presented it's preferred plan for the protection of
    nearly 60 million acres of inventoried roadless areas in national forests to
    U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman on Nov. 13. Glickman is
    expected to make a final decision sometime before Clinton leaves office.

    "I am here making the assumption that he (Clinton) wants to see it tied off on
    his watch," said Steve Marshall, information team leader for the roadless
    project with the U.S. Forest Service.

    The forest service's preferred alternative would prohibit most construction or
    reconstruction of roads on inventoried roadless areas. It would also prohibit
    timber harvest except that which falls under "stewardship" in the same areas.
    How people use the roadless lands for recreation would be left to local forest

    "The roadless rule was fairly friendly to motorized recreation in inventoried
    roadless areas," said Don Amador, western regional representative of the Blue
    Ribbon Coalition, a group that lobbies for motorized access to public lands.
    "I am glad to see the forest service listened to a lot of our concerns."

    The mountain biking community also wants decisions about access to roadless
    areas left at the local level, albeit for a different reason.

    "Roadless areas are important to mountain bikers because they are undisturbed
    and natural and because they often include narrow, single-track trails that
    off-road bicyclists enjoy," said Gary Sprung of the the International Mountain
    Biking Association in Boulder, Colorado.

    What mountain bikers and the off-road vehicle community fear most is that
    groups such as Wild Wilderness will push for the designation of roadless areas
    as wilderness areas, a designation that prohibits mountain bikers and
    motorized recreation.

    Some environmentalists argue that certain forms of recreation are as
    environmentally harmful as traditional resource extraction.

    "Humans tend to think that if what they do doesn't stress the neighbors it
    isn't harmful," said Sorensen. "The baseline for stress keeps moving up."

    While the Sierra Club and many environmental groups have publicly endorsed the
    forest service roadless initiative for its ban on logging, Sorenesen isn't
    confident that the group has examined the document closely enough.

    "Many of the big greens are too quick to jump on board to save forest from
    extraction," she said. "The forest service is never going to offer up anything
    for nothing. There is always going to be a tradeoff there. It behooves
    environmentalists to push that tradeoff toward ecology as much as they can."

    <font color=red>get involved with land issues or lose the land</font color=red>

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