POCATELLO, IDAHO March 17–The Forest Service Council, representing 14,000 Forest Service employees in 92 National Forest Service unions, has issued a letter denouncing the Clinton-Gore administration’s roadless area initiative. The Council noted the centralized “one-size-fits-all” prescription bypasses the current planning process, which allows for local decision-making based on site-specific studies.
The sharply worded communiqué warned that the Roadless Area Initiative, according to the latest figures, would designate some 54 million acres as permanent roadless areas. The proposed roadless additions are expansive, more than doubling the acreage not available to the public for multiple-use.
The Council also noted that decisions leading to this initiative were neither open nor transparent, and the administration made no effort to gather consensus. The Council asks that a moratorium be placed on the initiative.
According to Don Amador, western regional representative for the Blue Ribbon Coalition, “the Council’s letter against the Clinton/Gore roadless agenda illustrates the high level of frustration that exists among a large number of career agency professionals.
“In the face of mounting opposition to the roadless directive, I wonder how long the administration will continue to try and foist this land lock-up proposal on the American public,” Amador concludes.