Roadless Rule Legislation Would Ensure Continuing Protections for Millions of Acres of National Forests

WASHINGTON, DC  — The National Wildlife Federation welcomed new legislation from U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., that would conserve wildlife habitat, provide critical cover for big game and protect vital natural resources in America’s national forests. The legislation builds on the successes of the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation and ensures continuing protections for millions of acres of roadless national forests.

“The roadless rule keeps America’s national forests truly wild, providing critical habitat for a diverse array of wildlife — including more than 2,100 threatened, endangered, or sensitive animal and plant species. This important proposal ensures our nation’s roadless areas remain refuges for wildlife and open for recreation,” said Tracy Stone-Manning, the National Wildlife Federation’s Associate Vice President for Public Lands. “Congress should swiftly take up this long-overdue, collaborative proposal to support wildlife and forest conservation.”

Cantwell’s bill would:

  • Protect the roadless network from ongoing special interest attacks;
  • Support recreation access for hiking, fishing, camping, hunting, mountain biking and skiing to the nation’s national forests and roadless areas;
  • Protect watersheds that support drinking water for more than 350 communities across the United States; and,
  • Save taxpayers by limiting new road-building and allowing the U.S. Forest Service to focus on maintaining the existing 371,000-mile network of national forest system roads.

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