Ray Ring's article "Roadless-less" was misleading to suggest that the roadless rule was created with inadequate public process and without the support of the American people (HCN, 11/9/09).
The roadless rule represents the most extensive public rule-making process ever undertaken by the U.S. Forest Service. During more than three years of review and public participation, the Forest Service held more than 600 public meetings and received a record-breaking 1.7 million comments -- 95 percent of which supported a strong rule.
Most Americans support the conservation of roadless areas. A 2000 sportsmen's poll by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership found that 83 percent of hunters and anglers support the conservation of roadless areas. Most recently, more than 225 hunter/angler businesses and organizations sent a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting that the maximum acreage of national forest roadless areas be conserved.
As a sportsman who enjoys the peace, challenge, and solitude of the backcountry experience, I hope the roadless rule remains in place for all future generations.
Utah Backcountry and Anglers
Park City, Utah