From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Roadless Comments Extended To Nov 15th

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973 
E-mail: alra@landrights.org or alra@governance.net  
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org 
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE – Washington, DC 20003

Roadless Comments Extended To Nov 15th

The Forest Service has extended your chance for comments on new Bush Administration Roadless Rule.

This would replace the Clinton Roadless Area Rule which has been tied up in law suits but may still find its way to the Supreme Court.

The Clinton Roadless decree sets aside over 58,000,000 acres, nearly one third of our national forests as Roadless and defacto Wilderness area.

Over one million acres of private land are held hostage inside the Clinton Roadless Areas.

Whether you are personally affected or not, this is your chance to play a team game to help those who are affected.  That way, they’ll be there to help you when you are threatened in the future.  And you will be.  The only way to compete with the greens is to work together.

The extension of time is good for us but the greens are expanding their effort also.  They are using television is major markets trying to get urbanites to send comments about where they have never been and many will never go.

Rural America must stand up now or lose your access.

Support private property owners, hunters, fishermen, ranchers, miners, foresters, campers, rock hounds, off-highway vehicle users and the general public who likes to go exploring on the ever decreasing network of roads within the National Forests.  

Many of the Roadless Areas covered by the Clinton Rule have huge areas of existing roads you can use.  Don’t be excluded from your own forests by special interests who want them locked up for their own personal use.

Support The Administration’s effort to protect access to your forests.

Don’t wait to send your comments.  Send them today.  This is really a big deal.

Each Comment Questionnaire has the Forest Service address written right on it.  

*******Here’s what you should do:

-----1.  Use the Roadless Area Comment Questionnaire below to e-mail your comments to the Forest Service.  Be sure to write in some personal comments.   That makes your comments much more valuable and likely to be counted by the Forest Service.

-----2.  If you would like a formatted version of the Comment Questionnaire below then just click on www.landrights.org     The form will be right there on the Home Page.  You can print out as many as you want.  Feel free to make copies of them to pass around.   You are better off mailing them to the Forest Service.  Their fax machine has not worked well.

You may also get a complete copy of the Forest Service new Roadless Rule Federal Register Notice at www.landrights.org

------3.  Take a copy down to a local printer or use a copier to make copies.  Carry them around wherever you go and hand them out to your neighbors, friends and business associates.

-----4.   If you work in a plant or big business, make copies to hand out to everyone.  Have someone take responsibility to make sure that each employee, vendor or supplier gets a copy and fills them out.  They should be free to say whatever they feel is appropriate in the answers area.  

------5.  Set a personal goal of getting five to ten Roadless Area Comment Questionnaires filled out and sent in by others each week until November 15th.

Remember, we agree with all the statements, but you don’t have to.

We’ve made it easy for you.  

*********Roadless Area Comment Questionnaire**********


****E-mail, Fax or US Mail Deadline Monday, November 15th, 2004

Roadless Alert -- Roadless Area Management Comment Questionnaire

To All Multiple-Use and Private Property Allies:     

The U.S. Forest Service needs to hear from you today on roadless area management!  It is very important to you that you send comments.    In law, it is called “laches” or sleeping on your rights.  If you fail to comment on these proposed Forest Service Roadless Regulations, you could lose some future legal  rights. 

Background – 

The new roadless regulations proposed by the Bush Administration in July provide an improved approach to managing the millions of roadless acres in the U.S.  The earlier roadless rule, issued in the closing days of the Clinton Administration, was deeply flawed: boundaries were inaccurate; access to state, county, and private in-holdings was significantly restricted; local forest planning was ignored; and management activities to address forest health were curtailed.
The newly proposed rule goes a long way to fixing many of these flaws, primarily by bringing state, county, and local input back into the process of managing national forest land, without the federal government ceding final oversight of the land.  It gives Governors an opportunity to work with the U.S.  Forest Service to establish management requirements for National Forest System inventoried roadless areas within their States.
Your comments on the proposed roadless rule are critical to ensuring local input to management of roadless areas on our national forests.  Please help by filling out and e-mailing or faxing back to the Forest Service the Comment Questionnaire below. 

Please note that multiple-use and private property advocates AGREE with all the statements below but you do not have to.  Please circle whether you AGREE,  DISAGREE,  OR  HAVE  NO  OPINIION on each statement.  

Below the statements there is a place for you to write in any personal comments you may have.    

You make the comment questionnaire far more valuable with your personal comments.   

Thank you.

Content Analysis Team, USDA – Forest Service, Attention:  
Roadless State Petitions, 
P.O. Box 221090, 
Salt Lake City, Utah  84122.  

Fax to:  (801) 517-1014.  

E-mail: statepetitionroadless@fs.fed.us

Dear Chief Bosworth:       

RE:	Proposed Rulemaking – Special Areas; State Petitions for Inventoried 
            Roadless Area Management, 69 Fed. Reg. 42636 (July 16, 2004)

	On July 16, 2004, the Forest Service proposed a new roadless area regulation that is intended to replace the 2001 rule.  I support the proposal, but have a number of suggestions for consideration in the final regulation. The following contains my section specific comments and recommendations in order of priority: 

-----1.  I support the Forest Service's efforts to fix the fatal flaws in the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule.  This rule is the product of a deeply flawed NEPA process, which was conducted without adequate or accurate information about the affected areas, and is contrary to the agency’s legal authority. 


-----2.  The process that created the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule ignored substantive concerns raised by the public and by local, State, and Federal elected officials. 


-----3.  The proposed regulation in Section 294.11would retain the definition of “inventoried roadless areas” contained in the January 2001 Roadless Rule.  This regulation defines these areas as identified on the maps in the Final Environmental Impact Statement and “any subsequent update or revision of those maps.”  However, neither the 2001 regulation nor the proposed revision provides any mechanism to accomplish these subsequent updates or revisions.  

   	Inventoried roadless areas, and the maps depicting them, were developed by the Forest Service under the auspices of the Wilderness Act during the 1970’s, well over 20 years.  Their purpose was to identify areas that met the minimum requirements for consideration as “wilderness” by Congress and  

I recommend that the final regulations require every national forest to conduct a boundary review within 18 months of the effective date.  This review would be conducted either as part of the process to address a Governor’s petition or as a separate action if no petition were filed.  


-----4.  In Section 294 .15, state-specific rulemaking, the final rule must ensure consideration of local concerns by complying with the forest management laws.  I believe it is vitally important to manage roadless areas through the applicable forest management plan, as required by the national forest management laws.  Compliance with these laws will also ensure that local conditions are considered and local concerns are addressed.  However, section 294.15 merely prescribes a rulemaking to address a Governor’s petition that has been accepted by the Secretary.  Neither the proposed regulation nor the preamble ever explains or requires how this rulemaking would be coordinated with the applicable forest management plan.  Thus, the proposal seems to suffer from the same fatal flaw as the January 2001 Roadless Law – no compliance with the national forest management laws and no consideration of local issues.

Accordingly, I urge the Forest Service to incorporate into the final regulations a requirement that if a Governor’s petition would change the management of any roadless area from that set out in the applicable forest plan, that plan must be amended or revised before the rulemaking comes into effect.


-----5.  Under Section 294.12, state petitions, I support the opportunity for a Governor of a State to petition the Secretary to promulgate regulations establishing management requirements for all or any portion of inventoried roadless areas in their state.  As noted above however, we believe that the actual decision regarding management of these areas must be finalized through an amendment or revision of the applicable forest plan.  In regards to the proposed time period of 18 months for Governors to develop a petition, we believe that 18 months is sufficient, given the recommendations immediately below.

	I request that the final rule provide guidance to Governors in this section of the regulation regarding the process by which Governor’s may develop their petition.  We recommend that the final rule provide guidance to Governors that before submitting a petition they should:

1)-----------seek professional assistance from their State Forester, 
2)-----------consider current and future wildfire risk conditions, 
3)-----------review the management decisions for the roadless areas set out in applicable forest plans,
4)-----------consider needs for access to state and private lands, 
5)-----------carefully look at each individual roadless area and consider local conditions of these areas,
6)-----------adjust boundaries to excluded already roaded areas, 
7)-----------consult with local counties and town officials, 
8)-----------consider social and economic impacts of their proposals,
9)-----------document the gain or loss in access to national forests by their proposal.

	The preamble indicates that the agency will consider if any additional consultation will be needed with State and local governments prior to adopting the rule.  We highly recommend that such consultation take place in order to develop the guidance suggested above for the final rule.  


-----6.  The preamble to the rule states that the Secretary is considering the establishment of a national advisory committee to provide consultation on the implementation of the State-specific rulemaking process, review petitions, and provide advice on appropriate NEPA documentation and the decision of the Secretary regarding the petition.  I am concerned about the make up of this committee as well as the scope of their responsibilities.  I do not believe that this committee is essential to the proposed process and could become a barrier to resolving not just the disposition of the inventoried roadless areas.  No advisory committee should be established in the final rule because it is likely to be politically influenced and scientifically compromised.  


-----7.  In conclusion, I support the proposed rule in general, but as noted above, request that the agency consider a number of changes and additions to a final rule in order to assure that the rule is legally sufficient and capable of being implemented by the Forest Service, Governor’s and others involved in the proposed processes.  

	It is vitally important that the old, flawed boundaries of inventoried roadless areas be replaced with land allocations and management requirements that reflect accurate conditions on the ground and decisions reflected in forest plans.  The forest health crisis on federal lands requires that on-the-ground managers have forest plans that guide projects and programs to restore and maintain forest health and provide for appropriate multiple uses of the national forests. 


Your personal comments here will make this document more valuable.  It is very important to put your personal views in this section.  Add additional pages if necessary.  

To validate your comments please fill in completely (PRINT or TYPE) and be sure to sign.










Do not fail to send this comment questionnaire even if it is late.   They are often counted late.  

Don’t forget.  You may read and download the complete new Bush Administration Roadless Rule proposal at www.landrights.org.  

*****You may also download a fully formatted pdf file of the Comment Questionnaire at www.landrights.org

Make copies and hand them out to your friends.  This is really important.

Mail, Fax or E-mail Deadline for comments—Monday, November 15th, 2004

These comments are your opportunity to have your voice heard.  The greens are supporting the Clinton Roadless Rule big time.  If you want to save your future access, you must act now.

Lets compete with the greens.  If you want to preserve access to your forests, now is the time.  The Forest Service must receive as many comments as possible.

Please forward this message to your entire mailing list.  This is a critical issue.  

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