Forest roads are necessary

By Jim Trenholm
Retired Forest Service employee
Roy, Utah

Posted 3/10/03

(originally written 6/26/2000)

Deseret News

Vice President Al Gore recently vowed to protect forests. He said, "If I am entrusted with the presidency, it will be a national priority to preserve these roadless areas as they are, no ifs ands or buts about it. No more destructive development and exploitation. And just so I'm crystal clear about it, no new roadbuilding and no timber sales in the roadless areas of our national forests. Period."

Gore and U.S. Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck have deceived the people, the Forest Service, each other and themselves by calling 43 million acres of national forest system lands "roadless." These inventoried "roadless" areas contain tens of thousands of miles of inventoried forest roads. Forest roads are necessary for the protection, management and use of our national forests and their resources.

Intermountain Regional Forester Jack Blackwell wants to hear from us. He said Theodore Roosevelt once described conservation as "applying common sense to common problems for the common good." The death of common sense can be written in obituaries if we accept, as valid, the national forest roadless conservation proposal,

Blackwell wrote that "in the 32 million-acre Intermountain Region (includes Nevada, Utah, western Wyoming and southern Idaho), this proposal would apply to about 16 million acres of inventoried roadless areas. In Utah, with 8 million acres of national forest land, the inventoried roadless areas total more than 4 million acres." Please look up the roadless area maps (, compare them with forest maps, which show thousands of miles of inventoried forest roads within these areas, and request Blackwell to reconcile the discrepancies.

Jim Trenholm
retired Forest Service employee


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