Coalition Letter to Members of Congress Supporting the National Forest Roadless Area Conservation Act.

July 9, 2002

Break forth into singing, O mountains,
O forest, and every tree in it!
Isaiah 44:23

Dear Member of Congress:

As representatives of the thousands of leaders and members of the U.S. faith community who have called for the protection of roadless areas in national forests, we write to urge you to support H.R. 4865, the National Forest Roadless Area Conservation Act or similar legislative efforts. We have written letters, attended meetings, and testified in hearings about the importance of safeguarding pristine forests from theological, spiritual, and ecological standpoints. The American public overwhelmingly supports roadless protection. During the development of the Roadless Areas Conservation Rule, a record 2.2 million Americans delivered comments with a vast majority from every region of the country supporting the rule.

The National Forest Roadless Area Conservation Act codifies the Roadless Area Conservation Rule and was introduced in the House of Representatives on June 5, 2002, with more than 170 co-sponsors and bipartisan support. This environmentally sound legislation provides a balanced land management approach and reflects the values that Americans hold for these last wild public forests

The protection of pristine forests is one step toward fulfilling our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s world. Conserving the wilder parts of national forests provides needed habitat for fragile species, maintains conditions that protect the many rivers and streams that flow through forest areas, and helps preserve and build a positive long-term economic base for communities that benefit from national forest tourism and recreation.

Thousands of faith community voices have been raised for the protection of national forest roadless areas, and they urge policy makers to safeguard these national wilderness treasures. Protecting roadless areas by passing the National Forest Roadless Area Conservation says to millions of supporters that federal policy makers take their views seriously.

Once again, we urge you to support legislation to protect roadless areas in all national forests. Thank you for considering our concerns.