When Bill Clinton signed the roadless rule in 2000, it was seen as a victory for the several million Americans who had written letters and come to public hearings in support of closing off over 58 million acres of national forest to development of any sort. But soon after taking office, President Bush began efforts to overturn the rule and open the nations forest for road building. His efforts paid off early this month, with the creation of a policy that lets individual state governors permit roads, and they must petition the federal government to have them protected. The revisions are scheduled to go into effect after a public comment period, and a coalition of groups has set a goal to gather 1 million signatures before that period ends on September 14th, and met in Lowry park this morning to kick off their drive to save the roadless rule. WMNF’s Andrew Stelzer has more.

ACT ‘The bush administration proposal will hurt people from all walks of life…

Martha Collins works with the National Environmental trust

ACT “Hunters….also small business people will lose clients….the Bush admin has promised several times to uphold the roadless rule..Clearly the admin is out of touch with the public…they have also declined to hold any public hearings…

Today’s event was held as one of several dozen across the country, including one in Jacksonville. Environmental advocates are upset that there have been no public hearing scheduled on this issue. During the Clinton administration, the forest service held over 6000 public hearings to get public input regarding the roadless rule, which resulted in testimony from fisherman, hunters, hikers, and people from all walks of life who thought there was enough development of our public lands already. Susan Edwards says because she loves to fish, she sees the Bush administrations plans to rescind the roadless rule as a threat.

ACT I’m obsessed with fishing, roads into the wilderness have an effect on streams and fishing areas into the…roads cause clear cutting and logging which effects fishing, and fish that we can catch and eat…and this also effects us because of the timeline,

Florida has 50 thousand acres of roadless areas, in the Apalachicola, Osceola, and Ocala national forests. Joan Deguire is a member of republicans for environmental protection; she says the motivation for the Bush Administration is to provide economic benefit for logging, mining, oil and gas producing corporations.

ACT Just because you belong to a political party, does not mean you give up you right to speak up…I think it’s very obvious that bush has given it up for the corportations..Were subsidizing it were losing our money.

Mike Lutner works with the Sierra club, he says those forests should be preserved for the people.

ACT “There are already 440 thousand carved, this rule protects the last..hikers, hunters, families, etc. The bush admin should insure that timber companies can

Martha Cullins from the environmental trust, says that the lack of public comment shows the Bush administrations disregard for the publics opinion.

ACT What I think is a bigger threat is that the American people….and it leads to low morale..And that’s what’s upsetting because people do not have the confidence that their voices will be heard

For more information on the campaign to save the roadless rule, logon to

For WMNF news, I’m Andrew Stelzer

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