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"We are obviously pleased by this decision and feel that it vindicates our position laid out over a decade ago opposing a top-down 'one size fits all' roadless policy," said Greg Mumm, Executive Director of the BlueRibbon Coalition, a national advocacy organization for trails-based recreation that has participated in the various Roadless cases. Other recreational groups joining BlueRibbon in the Wyoming, California and other cases were the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs, United Four Wheel Drive Associations, and the American Council of Snowmobile Associations.
"It is particularly timely that we now place the 2001 Roadless Rule as an example of a bad idea that we should lay to rest," observed Paul Turcke, an attorney for the Recreational Groups. "All Forest visitors respect and value these areas, but they are properly managed by local officials with local input, not through a legacy-building campaign launched and maneuvered inside the DC beltway," Turcke concluded.
The "roadless" areas will now be protected and managed under existing Forest Plans, or through the state-generated petitions in some states, including Idaho and Colorado, that are being considered, submitted for public input, and will ultimately be adopted by the Forest Service. It is unclear how the recent ruling will affect the numerous Forest Service actions taken since 2006 which applied the 2001 Roadless Rule.
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The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of public and private lands, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. www.sharetrails.org
United Four Wheel Drive Associations is an international organization comprised of four wheel drive enthusiasts, clubs, associations, and businesses dedicated to providing community services around the world, education in responsible land use and safe vehicle operation, and protection of our natural resources through conservation practices. 1-800-448-3932. www.ufwda.org
The California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs is a California nonprofit organization actively promoting conservation and responsible vehicle-oriented recreation. The Association represents over 8,000 members and 160 member clubs. 1-800-4x4-FUNN. www.cal4wheel.com