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August 15, 2008

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Discussion Topic: Federal Judge Blocks Roadless Rule; Conservation Groups React

From the Associated Press:
A federal judge has overturned a Clinton-era ban on road construction in nearly a third of national forests, the latest turn in a long-running dispute over U.S. Forest Service rules for undeveloped land.
U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer issued a permanent injunction Tuesday against the so-called "roadless rule," saying it violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Wilderness Act.
"The Forest Service, in an attempt to bolster an outgoing President's environmental legacy, rammed through an environmental agenda that itself violates the country's well-established environmental laws," Brimmer wrote.

And from the Jackson Hole Daily:
In separate statements, Trout Unlimited and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership spokesmen said the [ruling] hurts hunters and anglers by allowing roads and logging in some of the region’s most pristine wildlife habitats and fisheries. . . .

“Roadless areas have been shown to provide secure habitat for big game such as elk, mule deer and bighorn sheep and clean water for trout and salmon,” said Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership spokesman Joel Webster. “The 2001 roadless rule remains the best law for managing America’s national forest roadless areas.”

Your reaction?

Comments

Nate

You environmentalists are trying to make it seem like building a road is going to put the game population back 20 years. The elk will get used to it as will every other animal. The noise might scare them for a little while, but its not going to kill them.

Larry

Environmentalists don't have anything to do with this issue, this is our issue and we should be up in arms over it. Roadless designation is one of the best things that has ever happened for sportsmen. Quality fishing and hunting has always been found away from the beaten path. Protecting high quality habitat through roadless designation is imperative to ensuring that REAL hunting and fishing will still be available to public lands sportsmen. If you truly think that elk aren't bothered by roads, then I suspect you don't spend much time hunting.

Mike Diehl

Roadless designation is an excellent rule for maintaining areas of low use-impact, high quality hunting and outdoorsmanship. This ruling is the result of just another activist idiot judge intervening in the legitimate management decisions of the USFS.

HunterDann

All i have to say is the deer love the logging roads where i hunt. They must not have got the notice that logging and roads are supposed to make die

Ed J

all roadless designation does is keep the general public out.
Why are you guys against the ranchers keeping the public out. All they're doing is the same thing as roadless designation.

SilverArrow

Larry
As a hunter/angler/outdoors enthusiast I AM an Environmentalist! Hopefully all of the bloggers here also count themselves as environmentalists!
Nate
The roadless designation IS important and yes building roads WILL kill wildlife especially animals sensitive to human encroachment such as elk, grizzlies, sheep, cougars, raptors, and truly wild trouts.

We ALL need to be concerned with this ruling because it could pave the way -- pun intended -- literally to not only logging but other exploitation of our now pristine wildernesses. I am also concerned at how blatantly political the ruling was, hopefully we will see it overturned on appeal! Every road 'they' cut will bring more pollution, more noise (that is pollution too), more litter, more erosion and do more irreprable damage! We should all be more than concerned, we should be pressing our Congressional delegations to legislatively persue Roadless Wilderness designations for these lands!
SA

MPN

"We ALL need to be concerned with this ruling because it could pave the way -- pun intended -- literally to not only logging but other exploitation of our now pristine wildernesses. I am also concerned at how blatantly political the ruling was, hopefully we will see it overturned on appeal! Every road 'they' cut will bring more pollution, more noise (that is pollution too), more litter, more erosion and do more irreprable damage! We should all be more than concerned, we should be pressing our Congressional delegations to legislatively persue Roadless Wilderness designations for these lands!"
SA
I'll agree with everything there.

William

This is only the beginning of our nationally protected lands being divided, cut up, used and abused at the expense of the tax payer while someone else profits. You don't build a road unless it is going somewhere. The only reason this issue is forced is because of the current administration wanting to "extract resources" from Nationally protected areas to ship overseas. I'm not big on the idea of private companies extracting resources from nationally protected ground that is all of our heritage so they can individually profit off of it. I'm also not big on the proven environmental and conservation impact on an area that is supposed to be set aside and protected by the tax payer to avoid precisely this. As someone noted before- roads and elk don't mix. The only elk you'll find next to a road in hunting season is in a high fence hunt.

Don

As a disabled person I applaud the judicial decision. It's about time that some of us unfortunate people had the same rights as the tree huggers. Those that can't walk at all or for very short distances have been handicapped more so by regulations that benefit only a few. Hats off to the judge!

Nate

Silver Arrow
Not trying to be smart but how much roadless area do you think we need. We don't need all that we have. But i guess knowing some people "givem an inch an they'll take a mile"

muddog

Nate. you say "We dont need all that we have"?. Do you realise that only 2.5 % of all Public land is roadless?. That amount is an embarasement. It should be far higher and it's about time some hunting and fishing folks back roadless areas as it was not until very recent people "woke" up to the idea that evironmentalists have been pushing for decades. Deer and Elk are not the only species that need to be protected, Larry has hit the nail on the head, this issue effects EVERYBODY and the rulling helps ONLY Natural Extraction companies that like it or not give, masive $$$$$ to the Republicans ( I am an Independent ).
Roadless does NOT keep the public out, it keeps the LAZY public out. As for disabled hunters and fisherman, I think we should have areas off limits to vehicles that disabled folks can access, we have thousands of miles of roads so there are plenty of places for those who need it.
I for one like to pack in to a pristine, roadless, no outhouses, garbage cans and trash to clean backcountry not thrashed by the "public" to hunt in peace...

muddog
Do you realise that only 2.5 % of all Public land is roadless?

First, i'd like to know where you got your figure. Second, do you know how much 2.5% is. Millions of acres of good loggin and wildlife refuge. I have no clue how many millions but say for easy numbers 20. Building a road and loggin through two of that wouldn't make a

Nate

polluted mess out of all of it.

TD

I agree with the roadless rule. Much of the forested area in the mountains where I grew up are now invade by houses and people from the city that have no concern for the animals and life time residents. The fishing and hunting has gone down and so has some game birds that where native to the area. The streams where once used by Brown Troat for spawning are poluted and chocked by debris from builders and road construction.

frank fox

I love the roadless rule. We need more roadless areas. I've found my best hunting and fishing in these places.

What do people mean it keeps the general public out? Please. Get out of the damn truck and hike! If you're old or disabled, there are still plenty--the vast majority, in fact--of public lands that have many roads. Hunt there.

MPN

"I love the roadless rule. We need more roadless areas. I've found my best hunting and fishing in these places.

What do people mean it keeps the general public out? Please. Get out of the damn truck and hike! If you're old or disabled, there are still plenty--the vast majority, in fact--of public lands that have many roads. Hunt there."
Thank you!
MPN

as moeggs

The hell with the wilderness, there's oil in there them woods... Chop down the trees, kill the game, plow them roads! GIT er doneeeee! this ruling make me sick.

SilverArrow

Nate
We need every acre, every square mile, every undammed stream, every moose bog and natural glade that we have left; because we have damned few left relative to a century ago! Cutting a road requires heavy equipment with big smoking diesel engines, noisy tractors and workers who don't all care where they toss their beer cans, sandwich wrappers etc. Simply put, you can not cut a road without major impact on the environment!

As to the poster above concerned that the Republicans would get millions from allowing this to happen, probably true BUT these developers will grease palms from both parties AND there will be palms up from both no doubt there!
SA

Gary

Anyone who doesn't think that road building poses a threat to wildlife and fish habitat hasn't been to West Virginia.

I once watched a stream go from a vibrant native trout fishery to completely dead in under a year because Westvaco felt the need to build a road to access 200 acres of timber.

The stream that was once crystal clear, turned into a rolling mud puddle almost instantly when the new road was allowed to erode and thereby create a channel that funneled all the mud off the road right into the stream.

In addition, while it is true that road construction might not have a negative effect on the more adaptable species such as whitetailed deer, it does have a detrimental effect on small game species.

muddog

Silver Arrow. I agree with you, mostly. I sugest you look back on the last 20 years and see which party has pushed back the MOST regarding roadless / wilderness areas, it sure is hell AINT the Republicans, as an Independent I am not thrilled with either Dem's / Repub's but please dont attempt to paint both with the same brush. While most Hunters / Fisherman were voting Republican becuase of the GUN issues ( some real some overblown ) the extraction lobby was cutting / mining / burning / road building. I always found it ammusing that the "sportsmen", until recently, overwhelmingly voted Republican, as that party would happily rape the nearest forest for a buck, you all were so concerned about the gun the forest was being torched, cut and mined behind your back.....
It's refreshing to see people are waking up and to hold ALL politicans responsible....
I hope most of the poster's above also are concerned about the rest of the issues facing the Environment....
Read outside the box,challange your own thinking and see the big picture.

SilverArrow

Muddog
No doubt the GOP has pushed this issue over the last bunch of years but then they have been in the driver's seat on a lot of issues good and bad for that timeframe. While you are right that one can not paint all politicians with the same brush the sad truth is that most come to any trough they can to get that all important campaign money. Therein lies part of the rub; until we see meaningful campaign finance reform in this country -- if we ever do -- that monster is not going away.
Keys are being an educated voter and a vocal constituent which ever party is in. As a Libertarian leaning Independent I have tended to vote for Republicans for many reasons; biggest now is that the Democrats have cozied up to the New World Order crowd way too much for my liking, also the Dems generally aren't as business oriented as the GOP, not just guns issues.
SA

muddog

Silver Arrow. New World Order???.

Nate

Silver Arrow
Do you realise that there are 246,799,640 acres of public hunting land?? A road in 2 of those is real small compared to it all. Besides after Mt. St. Helens it took the elk less than ten years to get back on their feet. And there were definently some that got killed during the eruption (not to mention all that habitat that got destroyed).

The hell with the wilderness, there's oil in there them woods... Chop down the trees, kill the game, plow them roads! GIT er doneeeee!

man theres soooooo much truth in this:)

Field Dress

The way our traditions are dwindling, it won't take long before our future generations of outdoorsmen stay inside to hunt and fish on their xbox.




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