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Background Information Late in the year 2000 the Clinton Administration directly issued several new rules to affect the National Forest System NFS The most controversial of these rules pertains to roadless areas of the NFS Commonly known as the Roadless Areas Initiative it restricts road building and development in approximately 585 million acres of inventoried United States Forest Service USFS roadless areas roughly one third of all NFS lands Before the Roadless Rule was issued the Forest Service held a public comment period where 16 million comments were received The final rule signed on January 5 2001 prohibits new road construction and reconstruction on all 585 million acres with a few exceptions such as protecting public safety On May 10 2001 a preliminary injunction was granted that effectively halted the rule The Roadless Area Initiative has inspired heated debate between environmental groups business and other interests and some have taken political or legal action Most of these debates revolve around whether or not all points of view were adequately represented during the comment period how the rule may or may not effect jobs and if the rule is appropriate forest management Interest Groups That Are Playing A Role There is a wide range of interest groups that support the initiative that are playing a role in this issue so wide that it is impossible to address them all I have chosen to discuss the Heritage Forest Campaign because it is affiliated with so many other groups The Heritage Forests Campaign is an alliance of conservationists wildlife advocates educators and others who lobby for National Forest protection Heritage Forests Campaigns partners include Alaska Rainforest Coalition American Hiking Society Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund National Environmental Trust National Audubon Society Natural Resources Defense Council US PIRG and The Wilderness Society As far as environmental groups go the Heritage Forests Campaign is basically mainstream Most of their partner groups are well established and have members across the
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