Do you support limiting access to areas of our wild
forests in order to ensure that the forests remain for both
wildlife survival and human enjoyment?
Twelve thousand miles of roads, enough to cross the United
States four times, cut through the national forest lands
of Wyoming. The Forest Service's plan to protect roadless
areas would preserve over four million acres of Wyoming's
wild forest. Logging, recreational development, grazing,
off-road vehicle use and some types of mining would not
be explicitly prohibited. It is critical that the Forest
Service close these loopholes to protect our last remaining
wild forests. National Forest lands without roads represent
only about 2 percent of the total landbase of the United
States, yet they provide clean drinking water, recreation
and large open spaces that offer solitude and beauty. These
areas often provide important habitat for rare plant and
animal species, offer opportunities for monitoring and research,
and help stop the spread of invasive species. Forest roads
have fragmented healthy wildlife habitat and put these populations
at risk. Silt from logging endeavors fills the streams,
making them unfit for trout survival. Dirt bikes and other
off-road vehicles scar fragile habitats like meadows and
hillsides. In addition, the Forest Service would save taxpayers
up to $565,000 per year in maintenance costs for new roads,
which would not be built. With an $8.4 billion dollar backlog
of road maintenance and reconstruction on the current 380,000-mile
road system on National Forest lands, we should focus on
the current roads rather than building costly new roads
into roadless areas. In order to preserve Wyoming's and
the nation's wild forests, action must be taken to keep
the roads out, as well as limiting access in particularly
wild and sensitive areas.
For more information, contact www.sierraclub.org/chapters/wy/roadlessareas.html.
Do you support the Conservation and Reinvestment Act
of 2000 as a means of funding much needed conservation projects
within the state?
The Conservation and Reinvestment Act of 2000 (CARA, H.R.
701) would create a permanent funding source for wildlife
preservation, recreation, coastal conservation, historic
conservation and other conservation programs. CARA was passed
by the House with a vote of 315-102 in May 2000. It has
yet to pass the Senate. If passed, this Act will permanently
seal about half of the $4-5 billion dollar revenue generated
from oil and gas leases for state conservation efforts.
This would benefit Wyoming by providing about $30 million
per year for conservation projects. Currently, the money
generated from the leases is not directed to any area in
particular, but rather pilfered away to miscellaneous government
expenditures. CARA's passage would be of immeasurable value
to not only Wyoming, but to all states in the nation, providing
much needed dollars to clean up rivers, water pollution,
restore fisheries and create parks.
For more information, contact http://www.nwf.org/naturefunding/states/WY.html.