Conservationists, Sportsmen Can Both Benefit from Roadless Policy

Thu, 01/04/2001

Conservationists, Sportsmen Can Both Benefit from Roadless Policy

Conservationists, Sportsmen Can Both Benefit from Roadless Policy

A press release from the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance


1/5/2001 --  -- 

Media Contacts:
Robert Munson (406) 887-2052
Kevin Lackey (406) 541-9977 or
(877) 770-8722

MISSOULA, MT - "The {U.S. Forest Service] roadless policy can be an historic conservation achievement that will benefit generations of hunters and anglers and outdoor recreationists," said Robert Munson, director of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance (TRCA). "As long as existing public access is protected, the best economic and societal use of these lands is to remain roadless, providing optimum fish and wildlife habitat, clean water and the room to roam that President Theodore Roosevelt championed as the birthright of every American. Flexibility should be maintained in the roadless prohibition for science-based exceptions for forest health, restoration and other national needs. A successful roadless policy could be jeopardized in this Congress if special interests, environmental or private sector, overstate the impact of the policy. These lands are typically marginal timber lands that are best kept in their current status."

The TRCA issued a more complete description of the issue on December 26, see below:


MISSOULA, MT - The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance (TRCA) is spearheading a new grassroots movement urging more than 50 million American hunters and anglers to send the new Administration, elected officials and public land managers a message.

"America's sportsmen and women should insist on a public lands legacy in the coming century that is synonymous with the vision of America's greatest conservation president, Theodore Roosevelt," said TRCA Director Robert Munson. "In honor of the 'Square Deal' that was TR's hallmark from 1901-1909, our country can settle for nothing less than the public's continued use and enjoyment of their public lands with a priority placed on maintaining healthy and vibrant fish and wildlife habitats."

Munson said, "Americans want sound stewardship of our resources and not partisan politics. We are talking about issues like water quality, forest stewardship and sustainable fish and wildlife populations that cross party lines. There's no such thing as a Republican watershed or Democratic forest. We believe the vast majority of thoughtful and sensible Americans will embrace these Square Deal Initiatives, because they are right and good for the country." And, as TR himself stated "The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value."

Room to Roam - Landscape and Access Management
TRCA Square Deal Initiative #1 reads: "Convince the new Administration, elected officials and public land managers to scientifically manage all fish and wildlife habitat in the National Forest System, whether roaded or unroaded, as valuable and unique lands that will remain open to hunters, anglers and other public users. Balance accessibility to National Forest Lands, with the year round requirements of fish and wildlife (habitat, clean water, food, shelter, open space and disturbance management), while maintaining a functioning forest road system, including keeping roadless areas roadless (with science-based exceptions made for forest health, restoration and other national needs.)."

Lead the Charge - Fish and Wildlife Funding Priorities
TRCA Square Deal Initiative #2 says: "Convince the new Administration and elected officials to dramatically increase funding and accountability for active fish and wildlife habitat management programs at the national, regional and local levels. These fish and wildlife funding priorities will not be tied to any commodity production formulas, but rather to achieving long-term, sustainable fish and wildlife populations. Funding will also include programs that involve all communities in promoting sound forest stewardship and restoration to enhance water quality and fish and wildlife habitat."

Anticipating ongoing roadless policy debate, TRCA Trustees and Munson want all hunters and anglers to keep the facts in mind. "Let's not kid ourselves. Most roadless areas in our National Forests are roadless for a reason," Munson said. "They are usually marginal timber areas where logging is cost prohibitive. Good roadless policy isn't about a 'lock-up' or de-facto wilderness; it's about habitat for fish and wildlife. For example, any roadless policy must recognize that struggling salmon and trout stocks should rank higher than timber values in roadless areas. The best use of these lands is to remain habitat for fish and wildlife, clean water and open space, providing hunters, anglers and outdoor recreationists with the kind of world class remote destinations Theodore Roosevelt championed as the birthright of every American."

The alliance is led by six conservation organizations: Izaak Walton League of America, Mule Deer Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Trout Unlimited, Wildlife Forever and Wildlife Management Institute. The need for a hunter/angler alliance was recognized by Pew Charitable Trusts and a grant was given to the alliance with the mission "to inform and engage Americans to foster our conservation legacy while working to nurture, enhance and protect our fish, wildlife and habitat resources on our National Forest System". The Roosevelt family has given the alliance permission to use the former President's name. The alliance supports active land management to sustain and benefit a diversity of fish and wildlife habitats and species as well as science-based, regulated hunting and angling activities. The alliance also supports and actively promotes a positive image of field sports and its participants.

There is no cost to join TRCA. Individuals can sign up as Partners, while businesses, civic clubs, conservation groups, hunting/fishing and sporting clubs can join as Affiliates. For information about becoming an important part of the alliance, or viewing the award-winning TRCA video "America's Outdoor Heritage", phone (877) 770-8722, email: or write to TRCA, 2409 Dearborn Street, Suite K, Missoula, MT 59801. Online, at, you may join the alliance and/or send a message to the new administration, elected officials and public land managers.

Date: 1/5/2001


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