Tools for road-rippers

It's simple, they say: If you want more wilderness, get rid of forest roads. Since l990, Keith Hammer has published a scrappy guide on how to legally close and restore forest roads. He's his own best success story. Hammer has hounded officials of Montana's Flathead National Forest to commit to closing and revegetating more than 650 miles of roads, most constructed for logging. Now, he has updated The Road-Ripper's Guide to the National Forests, and a coalition of environmental groups known as the Road Removal Implementation Project or ROAD-RIP, has published the step-by-step procedures for pushing federal agencies to follow their guidelines and shut down roads. As scientific research pointing to the benefits of road closures has grown, so has the 22-page guide. It's now issued in a loose-leaf binder to accommodate companion guides to national parks and off-road vehicles, as well as impending publications on Bureau of Land Management properties and national wildlife refuges. As Hammer says, "You too can become a Roads Scholar!" The guide is available for $12 from ROAD-RIP, P.O. Box 7516, Missoula, MT 59807 (406/543-9551).