New Bill Would Protect More Than 58 Million Acres of Pristine Forest Land

Media Contacts

Environment Texas

HOUSTON – A bill introduced in both houses of Congress today would protect 58.5 million acres of wild national forest land from mining, commercial logging, and road-building. The National Forest Roadless Area Conservation Act, which would put the 2001 Roadless Rule into law, has 25 original cosponsors in the Senate and a bipartisan list of 152 original cosponsors in the House, including Representative Gene Green from Houston, TX.  The 2001 Rule aimed to protect undeveloped land in national forests from logging and the development of new roads, except those needed to fight fires, maintain forest health and ensure public safety.

“Development of these pristine lands would mean destruction of critical habitat and pollution of the air we breathe and the water we drink, while threatening some of our most beautiful undisturbed wilderness,” said Alejandro Savransky, Field Organizer with Environment Texas.  “We applaud Representative Green for working to protect these precious areas and preserve them for future generations.”  Savransky added.

Shortly after George W. Bush took office in 2001, the administration stripped away the vital protections provided for in the Roadless Rule.

Since then, the rule has been batted around in the courts, leaving forests from the Rockies to the Appalachians vulnerable to damaging development. On May 28th of this year, Secretary Tom Vilsack issued an order requiring his personal approval for any new logging, drilling, or road-building in nearly 50 million acres of America’s roadless national forests. The bill introduced today would go one step further by making the protections permanent.

“This bill would save wildlife and wild areas, preserve pristine wilderness for the enjoyment of the public and protect the drinking water of more than 60 million Americans,” said Savransky. “We urge the Obama administration and Secretary Vilsack to protect our roadless areas from any harmful activities, and ultimately hope that Congress will act to put the Roadless Rule into law.”


Environment Texas ( is a citizen-based environmental organization working for clean air, clean water, and open spaces.