Goodlatte Statement Regarding Forest Service Roadless Areas Announcement
"I applaud the Administration for taking these steps to resolve ongoing
litigation over the fatally flawed roadless area policy. This policy,
adopted by the previous administration in close collaboration with extreme
environmentalists, would have severely limited access to almost one third of
the National Forest System.
Additionally, the Clinton-era rule included millions of acres of private and
state lands, among them productive forests, into supposedly roadless area maps.
It is my hope that the Forest Service will allow anyone whose land was wrongly
included in these maps to appeal that designation, and I urge the Forest Service
to work closely with folks who identify flaws in this rule, to ensure that
private property rights are protected.
Additionally, this is welcomed news in these summer months, which are often
marked by increased tourism and recreation, as it signifies greater public
access to public lands, for a variety of purposes.
The current forest health situation on our Federal lands is troubling, and we
need policies that allow maximum flexibility to address these problems. The
Administration's proposal is a step in the right direction."