Among the unfinished business Congress will have to address in the next few weeks is the must-pass Interior Department appropriations bill. The lame-duck Congress that will convene on Nov. 15 will probably include it in an omnibus bill along with other necessary spending bills.

Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) has promised to attach a rider to the bill that would exempt the largest timber sale in history from environmental scrutiny and judicial review.

The Biscuit post-fire logging project on the Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon covers almost 20,000 acres. The Forest Service plans to take out 370 million board feet of timber, at a cost to the taxpayer of over $40 million. Smith's rider would exempt the Biscuit sale from any judicial challenge by citizens, even if the project were to break current environmental laws. The rider would affect roadless areas, ancient forest reserves, wild and scenic rivers and endangered salmon runs.


Fax a letter to your senators and representative and ask them to keep Sen. Smith's lawless logging rider out of the omnibus bill. A sample letter is below.

To find the fax for your representative, go to:

To find the fax number of your senators, go to:


Dear ____________:

I am writing to ask you to oppose attempts by Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) to attach an extreme legislative rider onto the omnibus spending bill. Smith's rider would override existing forest and river protection laws for the Siskiyou Wild Rivers Area in Southern Oregon. It would deny judicial remedies to citizens, leaving roadless areas, ancient forest reserves, wild and scenic rivers and salmon runs at risk of being destroyed by logging and roadbuilding.

The Biscuit Project would cost taxpayers well over $40 million- money that could be used instead to protect homes and communities from wildfire. Government agencies and independent scientists have found that the project is likely to increase fire risk in the Siskiyou Wild Rivers Area for up to 30 years.

Encompassing five National Wild and Scenic Rivers, the Siskiyou Wild Rivers Area is one of the best remaining refuges for wild native salmon and steelhead trout left on the Pacific coast. Rivers and streams that could be severely damaged by the logging proposal support 27 unique runs of at-risk anadromous fish, including Coho salmon, spring and fall Chinook salmon, winter and summer steelhead, coastal cutthroat trout, green sturgeon, white sturgeon, and Pacific lamprey.

Please help block Sen. Smith's attempts to attach this extreme legislative rider to the omnibus spending bill.


Your Name
State, City, Zip

* * *


The comment period on the proposed rule that would replace the current Roadless Area Conservation Rule ends on Nov. 15.

The results of the recent election will only embolden the Bush administration in its attempt to throw open the country's public forests to timber, mining and oil companies. Let the administration know that we who will speak for the forests are not going away.
Tell the Forest Service you oppose its proposed rule change that would require governors to petition the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture if they want to preserve roadless areas in their states.


The proposed rule is available at:

Send your comments to:

Content Analysis Team
ATTN: Roadless State Petitions
USDA Forest Service
P.O. Box 221090
Salt Lake City, UT 84122
Fax: (801) 517-1014

Comments also may be submitted from:

See previous Roadless Rule email alerts at:


(Please feel free to rewrite it in your own words.)

Dear Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth:

Please enter this letter into the record as official public comment for the roadless area management state petition proposal.

I strongly oppose the elimination of the existing Roadless Area Conservation Rule. This enormously popular rule provides protection for fish and wildlife habitat, watersheds, and wilderness recreation. It protects the last undeveloped portions of our national forest heritage.

I object to the proposed rule's delegation of roadless area protection to state governors. Our public forests belong to all Americans and should be administered at the federal level.
I oppose any changes that would leave roadless areas in our national forests open to roadbuilding, logging, mining, drilling, or any other development.

I urge you to abandon this misguided proposal and leave the existing Roadless Area Conservation Rule in place in the Lower 48 states and Alaska's Chugach National Forest, and reinstate the rule in the Tongass National Forest.

Please help preserve the experience of wilderness for all Americans, and for the generations to come.


Your name
Your address


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

from Forests Forever Foundation
and the Center for American Places