Stop Fighting Roadless Rules, Says Former Forest Service Head

Mike Dombeck, former director of the Bureau of Land Management and head of the U.S. Forest Service, says its time for Washington to stop wasting tens of millions of dollars fighting rules that block new roads in National Forests. The reasons are obvious: less money being spent on forests and parks, the additional maintenance costs of new roads, and our ever-lower standards for what can be called ‘wilderness.’ “The first “roadless” or primitive area inventory on national forests was conducted in the mid-1920s. The Forest Service inventoried 74 tracts larger than 200,300 acres. In the ’70s, areas larger than 5,000 acres were inventoried. By the late ’90s, we were debating 500-acre tracts. What size tracts of land we will be fighting over 25 years from now?” In the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

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  • Jack Wallingford

    the pressure from ATV owners, snowmobilers, and all sorts of “sportsmen” is immmense. some of my friends, just drove to canada to drive their loud, exhaust laden, fuel burning snowmobiles in the canadian wilderness because we had no snow here. men who don’t want to work to bring out their elk or deer, want atv access to hunt. as soon as we let them, the others get their machines and start churning out roads and shooting from the vehicles and burning up the rest of the wilderness because they are not real enough to pack out their mean and antlers.
    they are willing to ride a snowmobile on 500 acres near me to scare every wild turkey back to no hunting property, just to get some enjoyment from the country. and destroy everyone elses. this is how America was won. no wonder that type of thinking goes on today.

  • Chuck Scheerschmidt

    With the graying of America putting more and more older folks into wheeled vehicles to just be able to enjoy the outdoors somewhat plus the other many uses that we can enjoy these days, the road network needs to be maintained and expanded if anything.
    There’s plenty of wilderness
    as exhibited by usage statistics these days and we do not need more roadless areas.
    Roaded areas are getting hammered these days to the point of driving out the wildlife and over crowding these areas simply because of the many cut backs, and well maintained but
    blocked roads, etc.