March 08, 2005

Crapo: States Should Determine Roadless Rules

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo says he is disappointed the Bush Administration has chosen to retain much of the former Roadless Rule imposed by former President Clinton, but adds the ability of states to offer input is a step forward. Crapo noted the lack of adequate public input in writing the original rule may be offset if state governors and other leaders now have the chance to make changes under the new proposal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.â??I am disappointed the Forest Service isn't scrapping the roadless rule and starting over. The process was faulty and, as a result, the final rule was flawed. While I recognize that in its proposal the administration is taking efforts to better involve the public, the magnitude of the roadless rule requires it be a collaborative process from the beginning. Nevertheless, involving the governors is a positive step,â?? Crapo said.The Roadless Rule was challenged in several states, including Idaho. The revisions announced today would allow governors to seek â??exceptional circumstancesâ?? to change the rules. Those circumstances include protecting human health and safety, reducing hazardous fuels, and protecting structures such as dams. However, relief would be barred in many designated areas such as wilderness study areas, national recreation areas, and critical watersheds identified in forest plans for roadless status. # # #