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[ft-l] [AHS] Capitol Trails Broadcast - Roadless Area Final Rule

FYI, see below.  After discussing this with the National Forests in
Florida's forest planner in my office, he says this will have little if any
impact on the FNST in the Ocala, Osceola and Apalachicola National Forests.
He says it only applies to new road construction in the national forests.
As far as timber harvesting, trees can be cut along the trail and existing
road maintenance can continue as per their existing regulations and the
FNST certification plan for the National Forests in Florida.


Kent L. Wimmer, AICP
Florida National Scenic Trail Liaison
Florida Trail Association, Inc.
(850) 942-9376 (w)
(850) 942-9305 (fax)
(850) 386-8442 (h)
Mailing address:
USDA Forest Service
National Forests in Florida
325 John Knox Rd, F-100
Tallahassee, FL 32303-4160
----- Forwarded by Kent Wimmer/NONFS/USDAFS on 01/12/2001 10:22 AM -----
                    hiking.org                     To:     Capitol_Trails@americanhiking.org        
                    Sent by:                       cc:                                              
                    <Capitol_Trails@c-t-g.c        Subject:     [AHS] Capitol Trails Broadcast -    
                    om>                            Roadless Area Final Rule                         
                    01/09/2001 06:35 PM                                                             

Capitol Trails Broadcast for AHS Alliance Members & Partners


On January 5, 2001 the Clinton Administration made history by completing
Roadless Area Conservation Final Rule, protecting nearly 60 million acres
inventoried roadless areas in national forests and grasslands.

AHS and the conservation community commend the Clinton Administration for
the final roadless protection rule. The proposal represents one of the most
significant conservation initiatives in the last 100 years.

What Does the Final Rule Do?

1) Prohibits new road construction and reconstruction in inventoried
roadless areas on National Forest System lands, except:

- to protect health and safety in cases of flood, fire, or other
catastrophic threats.

- to conduct environmental clean up required by federal law.

- to allow for reserved or outstanding rights provided for by statute or

- to prevent irreparable resource damage by an existing road or rectify
existing hazardous road conditions.

- where a road is part of a Federal Aid Highway project or needed in
conjunction with existing mineral leases.

2) Prohibits cutting, sale, and removal of timber in inventoried roadless
areas, except:

- to maintain or improve roadless characteristics and:

- to improve habitat for threatened, endangered, proposed, or sensitive
species, or

- to maintain or restore ecosystem composition and structure, such as
reducing the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire effects.

- for personal or administrative use.

- where roadless characteristics have been substantially altered due to
construction and subsequent timber harvest occurring prior to the
publication date of this rule.

3) Applies immediately to the ecologically significant Tongass National
Forest in Alaska, including a transition provision that allows existing
projects to continue.

The final rule affects 58.5 million acres, or 31 percent of Forest Service
lands, in 39 states. Roadless areas are critical to ecosystem protection,
including water quality, wildlife, and vegetation-all valued pieces of the
hiking experience. Roadless areas provide myriad opportunities for
recreation and are particularly important to hikers seeking solitude and
escape in wild backcountry and outstanding natural areas.


The Clinton Administration--recognizing the importance of national forest
roadless areas for their recreational, habitat, and watershed values--first
announced its intent to protect national forest roadless areas more than
three years ago. In October 1999, President Clinton directed the Forest
Service to develop a policy to protect up to 60 million acres of these
roadless, wild lands. In May 2000, the Forest Service released its draft
plan to implement Clinton's proposal. In November 2000, the Forest Service
released its Final Environmental Impact Statement, which was adopted almost
entirely in the final rule released in January 2001.

The Forest Service received almost two million responses to the roadless
initiative over the last year with more than 95% supporting the strongest
possible protection for our wild forests. The outpouring of public support
was one of the main factors that led the President to provide this
conservation legacy.

Several western Republican Congress Members vehemently oppose the final
rule, but overturning the regulation will be extremely challenging.

For more information, visit the Forest Service's Roadless Area Conservation
website at: http://roadless.fs.fed.us/index.shtml

*To call your Member of Congress:
US Capitol Switchboard
(202) 224-3121

*To write your Senator:
The Honorable ______________
United States Senate
Washington, DC  20510

*To write your Representative:
The Honorable ______________
US House of Representatives
Washington, DC  20515

*To track legislation and locate your Congress Members on-line:

Celina Montorfano
Alliance Policy Coordinator
American Hiking Society
1422 Fenwick Lane
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 565-6704 x205
(301) 565-6714 (fax)

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Capitol Trails Broadcast is a read-only list of news and alerts from the
American Hiking Society.
1422 Fenwick Lane
Silver Spring MD  20910
(301) 565-6704