It is with extreme disappointment that we write to you regarding the Bush administration's decision to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the Roadless Rule. The Tongass is just the first. Having gained access to the Tongass for commercial interests, Bush and his friends in the timber in! dustry will continue to pursue our public lands with no consid eration for native populations and endangered species.

Let's face it, the Bush Blow Out Sale has begun.

Enacted in 2001, the Roadless Rule protects 58.5 million acres of the last wilderness areas in the United States from industrial logging interests. Over 2.5 million Americans have voiced their support to protect these areas in our national forests.

However, it seems the Bush administration doesn't agree.

The decision, announced hours before the holiday break, is the result of efforts by Department of Agriculture Undersecretary of Natural Resources and Environment, Mark Rey, who oversees the Forest Service. As a former timber industry lobbyist, Mr. Rey has been committed to gutting the Roadless Rule since he was appointed to office. He has shown no regard for the will of the American public, nor the need to preserve the wilderness areas in our national forests. Safeguarding our wild forests from road-building, commercial logging, and resource extraction benefits everyone including those who hunt, fish, hike, camp and recreate on these public lands. To exempt America's largest national forest and greatest rainforest from protection is unwarranted and unwanted.

One Voice, One Vote! Be A Part of the Democratic Process

We urge you to write your respresentatives and ask them to endorse the Roadless Area Conservation Act (HR 2369) or (SR 1200), thereby supporting the spirit of democracy and conserving our precious forests for future generations.

Thank you for your help,
The Greenpeace Forest Team