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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Obama Must Protect Undeveloped Forests

The Olympian, Letter to the Editor, June 2

The current administration must take a firm stand on protecting our last remaining undeveloped national forests.

Ensuring that the roadless rule is upheld would be a tremendous step in the right direction, demonstrating necessary leadership in Washington, D.C. In Washington state, there are over 2 million acres of roadless forestlands that hang in the balance.

These forests provide critical habitat for many of the Northwest’s well-known creatures — like steelhead, salmon, bald eagles and elk herds — as well as sheltering uncounted lesser-known but equally important species. As a longtime college professor of environmental studies and geography, I can attest that our forests are essential in providing us with critical resources like clean water and air. And you don’t need a Ph.D. to know that our roadless public lands are where we find some of our most beautiful back country.

Roadless areas are not only an essential part of the lives of many of us outdoors types, but are also critical economic resources for the local communities that depend upon outdoor recreation and tourism for ever-increasing levels of income.

Further erosion of our last remaining wildlands is an unacceptable degradation of our natural heritage. These few beautiful, biologically and culturally important places are for now still with us, and the Obama administration has the historic opportunity to again defend our nation’s forests for their own inherent well being and for all future generations.

Washington Wilderness Coalition
Board Of Directors

Click here for a detailed look at Washington's roadless areas

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