WCAS LogoWashington
Conservation IssuesSigning of
the Record of Decision
on the Roadless Forest
Conservation Rule
Statement by John Flicker
President, National Audubon Society

Signing of the Record of Decision
on the Roadless Forest Conservation Rule

Statement by John Flicker
President, National Audubon Society

Washington, D.C. January 5 2001 - "With the signing of the final Roadless Forest Protection Rule, President Clinton has left a rich, natural legacy that will last generations. Fifty years from now, we will look back on this day as a seminal one in environmental history -- a day when the will of the people was articulated by a President with vision, and carried out by a Forest Service Chief committed to leaving a lasting legacy for our children and grandchildren to come.

"We are extremely proud to have helped lead this remarkable forest protection effort, which has been a true partnership of scientists, religious leaders, grassroots environmental organizations, national conservation organizations, and millions of citizens activists across the United States. This movement was grounded in science, found strength in faith, and found power in the thousands of grassroots organizations and coalitions that have worked to protect our last great expanses of wild lands within the National Forest system.

"For over 100 years the National Audubon Society has worked to protect habitat for birds and other wildlife, while protecting the kind of undeveloped land that is at the core of the American outdoor experience. In our 100-year history, however, we have rarely seen a President do as much to protect our shared wild heritage, as has Bill Clinton. In fact, I think it fair to say that no one except Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot can claim as sweeping a public lands legacy as President Bill Clinton and Forest Service Chief Michael Dombeck.

"The goal of protection is never over, of course. There will be battles ahead. There will always be those who think the best forest is cut and dried; the best land is bulldozed and plowed; the best river, dammed and diverted. We are confident, however, that the Roadless Forest Conservation Rule being embraced today will stand the test of time. In the history of the United States, no regulatory action has ever been more popular or more participatory. The wild forest protection rule was not crafted in Washington, but in the more than 600 public meetings held across the United States and in the more than two-million letters, postcards, faxes and emails that the Forest Service received during the two-year-long deliberative process. These letters came from the West and the East, north and south, urban and rural America, Republicans and Democrats, hunters and non-hunters, Generation Xers and senior citizens. National Forest protection, it turns out, is a core national value. At the National Audubon Society we never had any doubt it was."



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