News Briefs

New Chief Dooms Roadless Areas

In June, newly appointed Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth announced that commercial logging and road construction can resume on National Forest roadless areas with his permission. Bosworth also announced his intention to make roadless area protection subject to the forest planning process. Under existing forest plans, 50% of all roadless areas are slated for logging and road-building. “Twenty years of forest planning failed to protect these roadless areas,” said Steve Holmer of the American Lands Alliance. “This will only lead to the destruction of millions of acres of wild forest that should be protected by the roadless conservation rule.” Over 1.6 million people commented on a Clinton-era rule that banned logging and road construction in the wildest, unroaded tracts of public forest, over 95% of them in favor of the ban.

Poll: VA Voters Value Greenspace

Virginia voters say providing funds for land conservation should be as high a state legislative priority as funding transportation needs and public schools, and they are willing to pay for conservation efforts, shows a new statewide poll released in May. This according to a new poll by the Nature Conservancy, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Trust for Public Land. About 96 percent of voters believe that Virginians owe it to future generations “to protect the land, water and wildlife for their use and enjoyment.” To ensure such protection, 65 percent say the legislature and governor should establish permanent state funding for land conservation — eight in 10 said they would back a plan to dedicate $40 million per year from the state’s current land recording tax as a permanent source of funding for land conservation.

Roll Your Own Blackout June 21

On the first official day of summer, June 21, people across the nation will voluntarily turn off their lights and unplug their appliances. The blackouts will be a symbolic protest to President Bush’s energy policies and the administration’s failure to emphasize efficiency, conservation and alternative fuels (see editorial, pg. 2). The voluntary blackout will occur between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. in any time zone. Some environmental groups, however, are urging day-long abstinence (from electricity, that is.) Those on the grid are urged to flip off their lights, unplug their appliances, and have some fun in the dark. “By lighting a candle or two and enjoying themselves for a few hours, consumers can send the Bush adminstration a strong message that we expect more from him,” said Dr. Harvard Ayers, chairman of Appalachian Voices.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment