Bush Roadless-Rule Rollback Opposed by Tree Farmers

The Bush administration’s proposal to revamp (critics say gut) the Clinton-Era Roadless Rule, which prohibits road construction on some 60 Million acres of federal forestland, is finding opposition in some odd places. Owners of tree farms, not typically considered a natural ally of greens, are backing the Sierra Club and other enviro groups in opposing the policy. They worry that a flurry of new logging on federal lands will create a glut of timber and hurt their livelihoods. “The [Roadless Rule] restrictions doubled our prices, so if you went back it could cut our prices in half,” said Mark Woodall, who owns a 6,000-acre tree farm in Georgia. The tree farmers join enviros and many outdoor enthusiasts in their opposition to the rollback, once again showing that Bush is making good on his promise to be a uniter, not a divider.