Date: November 20, 2009
From: Dominick A. DellaSala, Ph.D., Chief Scientist and President
National Center for Conservation Science and Policy, Ashland OR
Calling all scientists! President Obama has signaled his interest in upholding the national Roadless Area Conservation Rule of 2001, which would protect 58.5 million acres of our National Forests. But in the meantime, the fate of these roadless areas and the national rule that protects them is unclear. I'm headed to Washington D.C. in ten days, where I will be hand-carrying a letter from scientists nationwide that promotes roadless area protection. Please sign on by Wednesday, Nov. 25.
Until there is clarity on the national rule, all Forest Service proposals for roadbuilding and logging in roadless areas are subject to a case-by-case decision by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. We were recently disappointed when he approved a timber sale on Alaska's Tongass National Forest with nine miles of roadbuilding in a roadless, old-growth rainforest. Two more such sales on the Tongass are now being considered.
Scientists like you can help keep vulnerable areas like these off the table. Roadless areas are critical for wildlife, clean water, and as strongholds for biological diversity and carbon storage.
PLEASE JOIN SCIENTISTS NATIONWIDE BY SIGNING a letter urging President Obama to uphold the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule until new and lasting protections are in place. It has already been signed by Michael Soule, Reed Noss, James Karr, and Richard Hutto. See the letter at http://www.nccsp.org/files/national-roadless-signon-letter.pdf
Thank you for reading further, and my apologies for any cross-postings. Also, please help by sharing this with your colleagues who may be interested!
DEADLINE: Please sign on by Wednesday, November 25, 2009.
SIGN-ON PROCESS. Just fill in the fields at http://www.nccsp.org/national-sign-on-letter/ If you have questions, contact my assistant Julie Norman (email@example.com
, 541/482-4459 x305).
Signatures will appear as typed signature blocks, in alphabetical order. The letter signifies that "affiliations are listed for identification purposes only," or you may opt out of including an affiliation. Your contact information will not be added to any general outreach lists.
BACKGROUND. On January 12, 2001, President Clinton approved the Roadless Area Conservation Rule (see footnote 1) following three years of analysis and unprecedented public support. Since then the roadless rule has been upheld by the 9th Circuit Court, despite legal challenges and attempts by the Bush administration to weaken it. President Obama supported the national rule both as a senator and during his presidential campaign. With input like yours, we are hopeful his administration will endorse full roadless area protection nationwide.
Please help us send a strong message that the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule remains the most effective strategy for managing the nation's roadless areas, particularly in the face of climate change and state level challenges.
Thank-you for your consideration,
Dominick A. DellaSala, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist & President
Footnote 1: The link to the USFS Roadless Area Conservation website is:http://fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1K1L?ss=119930&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&navid=091000000000000&pnavid=null&ttype=roadmain&cid=FSE_003853&position=RELATEDLINKS&pname=Roadless-Home