Forests Forever Action Alerts




In a victory for California’s currently unprotected roadless areas, A.B. 715 passed the state Assembly on May 31 on a vote of 41 to 34. The measure, authored by Assemblymember Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys), would require the governor to consult with the legislature before taking any action on roadless areas.

The bill now moves to the Senate.

"This is an exciting win, given the setback just handed us by the Bush administration," said Paul Hughes, executive director of Forests Forever. "We’re pleased to see the legislature responding so swiftly to the threats now facing our last unguarded wilderness areas. We have the hundreds of letters and calls by our supporters in recent weeks to thank for this."

Forests Forever began its push for passage of A.B. 715 on May 12. Since then the bill has passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee and the full Assembly.

After January 2006, the new federal rule that replaces the Roadless Area Conservation Rule will require a governor who wants to protect roadless areas in his or her state to submit a petition to the U.S. Forest Service. The secretary of agriculture can then accept or deny this petition.

If a petition is accepted, a state-specific rulemaking process will be set in motion. If a petition is rejected, or if a governor chooses not to file one, the management of roadless areas in that state defaults to the existing forest management plans for each national forest in question. Almost 60 percent of the national forest plans allow roadbuilding and other development.

A.B. 715 would require the governor to consult with appropriate legislative committees before making decisions that would affect roadless forests. He also would have to submit a report to the legislature, which could hold hearings, hear testimony and review the report. The legislature would consult with state agencies such as the Resources Department, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Forestry. And the legislature could deny or approve the governor’s proposed action.

"Given Gov. Schwarzenegger’s mixed signals of late concerning his position on California’s roadless areas, we feel this bill provides some assurance that the public’s interests in wilderness protection won’t be ignored," Hughes said.


California’s roadless forests are too important to be left in the hands of the governor alone. Contact your state senator and urge him or her to support A.B. 715.

To get contact information for your state senator, visit


Forests Forever:
Their Ecology, Restoration, and Protection
John J. Berger

from Forests Forever Foundation
and the Center for American Places