Two members of Congress from Washington have introduced a bill that would make the Roadless Areas rule permanent. The Clinton-era rule has been plagued by legal battles since it was introduced in 2001, but the legislation being introduced would ban almost all road construction on 58 million acres of roadless national forests. The House bill has 152 co-sponsors while the Senate bill has 25 co-sponsors. The Obama administration has shown support for the Roadless Rule, with the Secretary of Agriculture announcing recently that if federal courts don’t resolve the legal disagreements, the forest service will write a new rule. Between the new House legislation and the possible new administrative rule, the future of our roadless forests is looking up.
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