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PNS Daily Newscast - August 12, 2020 

Former VP Joe Biden picks Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate; some schools have science-based metrics for open classroom instruction.

2020Talks - August 11, 2020 

Connecticut updates its election rules, and two Trump allies face off in Georgia's state runoff. Plus, a preview of next week's Democratic National Convention.

The Roadless Rule: Keeping Oregon Wild

January 22, 2008

Bend, OR – Oregonians who value the chance to experience their state's wilderness in its national forests can thank the U.S Forest Service for the decision 10 years ago today that became the "Roadless Rule."

What started as a moratorium on road building in the national forests--officially, the "Roadless Area Conservation Policy"--now protects 58 million acres of forest land from development. Almost 2 million acres of that lies in Oregon.

The rule has withstood multiple legal challenges in recent years, and the Forest Service says 95 percent of the comments it receives indicate people are in favor of keeping it. John Sterling of the Conservation Alliance says he's not surprised.

"The Roadless Rule actually allows an awful lot of activity in those areas. All it does is say we can't build new roads in those areas."

Opponents say setting forest land off-limits to road building hurts some local economies that depend on timber, mining, and oil and gas drilling. Sterling, however, says Oregon's economy is actually stronger because of the limitation on development.

The Outdoor Industry Association estimates that outdoor recreation supports 73,000 jobs and brings in almost $6 billion a year to Oregon, much of it in the rural communities adjacent to the state's roadless areas.

Sterling says it's important that Oregonians keep up on what's happening with this issue.

"There's an increased interest in how public lands are managed, and I think that inherently, the more people move to Oregon, the more opinions you're going to have about how those lands are managed."

The OIA's "State-by-State Active Outdoor Recreation Economy Report" is online at Roadless area statistics from The Wilderness Society are at

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR