brian on 2004.07.14
at 01:31 am
While no one was looking, the Bush administration announced plans to repeal what is known as the "Roadless Rule," a Clinton-era mandate closing a certain 58.5 million (of a total 191 million) acres of National Forests to any kind of road development.
Today, the administration, against the repeated bipartisan disagreement of Congress decided to make a new rule: the protection would be an opt-in rule, at the discretion of a state that contains the federally protected forest. That means if a state wants those forests to continue to be protected, they have to say so. And of course, this throws conservation in to constant political flux: as a governor is voted in/out, lands may be closed or opened. Flux and conservation are not compatible concepts.
97 percent of the roadless areas in question is concentrated in 12 western states. Most of those states have Republican governors. Many of those states make a sizable income from foresting and mining operations.
Posted in: Politics
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