Image credit:Hancock Forests
For decades, US road-less areas have been getting fewer and existing ones progressively smaller. So, it is understandable that conservationists have expressed dismay about a recent Obama administration decision to 'actively oppose new protections on about 60 million acres of roadless federal woodlands in a case being considered by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.'
Working for a single court decision that may apply accross the nation is a high-stakes tactic that could easily go the wrong way. And it would be sure to enrage dedicated Federalists. As reported by the LA Times:- "Administration officials say they are committed to protecting roadless areas but have decided to pursue the goal through policy making rather than in the courts.."
That certainly sounds like a long-range strategy that could produce more sustainable and politically palatable results. But is it?Conservationists might well take the Administration at its word, presuming that they will ultimately deliver, TR style, on conservation. The Federalist Society members may see that as a more constitutionally desirable strategy, resulting in additional support.
Or not. We won't know until it happens because we are outsiders to the process.
Long term strategy, or short term, tactical response: which the better?
The LAT article
Environmentalists baffled by Obama's strategy, The administration is defending in court environmental measures that the president once vowed to roll back. Officials say it is part of a long-term plan, but critics see it as backpedaling. offers a good summary. If you're a tree hugger, read it.
More posts on roadless areas.
New Policy Promoted by the Bush Administration Opens Millions of ...
What Does ACES Mean for Forests?