Schwarzenegger asks feds to protect roadless national forests in California

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) today asked the feds to keep all 4.4 million roadless acres of national forest in his state off-limits to logging, road-building, and other development. President Bush in 2004 canceled President Clinton’s rule protecting roadless national-forest areas; now it’s up to governors to request protection for roadless parcels in their states. If approved as expected, Schwarzenegger’s petition will protect more than one-fifth of California’s forested public land. Virginia and both Carolinas have had similar petitions approved without major changes; New Mexico has also filed for roadless protection. “Having a Republican governor of a Western state, with a large amount of roadless areas, stand up to protect all the areas sends an important signal to the rest of the country,” said Sara Barth of The Wilderness Society.