Ep. 045 - Roadless Rules!

Wilderness Podcast episode with the Friends of the Clearwater

Roadless Rules! | Gary Macfarlane & Katie Bilodeau | Friends of the Clearwater

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Gary Macfarlane - Friends of the Clearwater

Katie Bilodeau - Friends of the Clearwater

Release Date: January 17th, 2021

In this episode I speak with Gary Macfarlane, Ecosystems Defense Director and Katie Bilodeau, Staff Attorney with the Friends of the Clearwater in Idaho. We talk all about roadless areas, their history, RARE I, RARE II (Roadless Area Review and Evaluation), fractures in the wilderness community over RARE II, the National Forest Policy Act, the influence of industry on roadless areas, the nitty gritty of the Clinton 2001 Roadless Rule, state specific roadless rules, loopholes in the Roadless Rule, all about the new Friends of the Clearwater Roadless Report for Idaho and Montana, duplicity in the Forest Service on what constitutes protections, out of control and accelerating timber extraction and why we must begin taking roadless lands protection seriously.

Post-interview thoughts from Gary...

The history of roadless area protection in the national forest system and the roadless rules themselves are focused almost exclusively on the logging (tree cutting) and associated road building because that was the major activity that affected the roadless nature of these areas in 1970 and still is a problem today. However, there are many other threats to roadless areas. There are other historical and existing threats such as mineral development, a minor component of the roadless rules in terms of limited road building protections, and livestock grazing, not addressed in the protections. Further, the roadless rules have no protections against the relatively more recent and rapidly expanding threat from the marketization and commodification of national forest recreation, both motorized and non-motorized.... As an aside, some of us asked that protections against motorized recreation be put in over 20 years ago when the rules were first being developed. Also, one could argue the roadless rules, on the whole, are counterproductive as they don’t really prevent logging yet they help promote this industrial strength wreckreation through the omission of any protective measures and the roadless rule EISs tout the economic benefits of wreckreation. The apparent merger of many big greens and the recreation industry speeds this along.

About Gary

Gary has nearly 40 years of activist experience in Idaho and Utah and is very familiar with Forest Service policy. He has been recognized as one of the most effective activists in the northern Rockies, and was a recipient of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies Conservation Award in 1997. Gary holds a B.S. degree from Utah State University’s College of Natural Resources.

About Katie

Katie Bilodeau, seen here with her adorable dog Ivy on a very rainy hike, is the staff attorney for Friends of the Clearwater (FOC). She contributes to FOC's forest-watch program by analyzing and commenting on proposed agency projects and plans for the Wild Clearwater Country of North-central Idaho. She also identifies and researches policy issues, analyzes Freedom of Information Act responses, and conducts some of FOC's pre- or post-project monitoring. Katie is licensed to practice law in Idaho, and earned her juris doctor from the University of Idaho College of Law with emphases in Native American law and natural resource and environmental law. Before attending law school, Katie received a Master of Science in Water Resources from the University of Idaho. She has an undergraduate Bachelor of the Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame.

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