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September 16, 2005

CONTACT: Brian Hawthorne, Public Lands Director, BlueRibbon Coalition

208-237-1008 ext. 102

BlueRibbon Coalition Public Lands Advisor Selected for National Roadless Committee

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced the selection BlueRibbon Public Lands Consultant Adena Cook to the Roadless Area Conservation National Advisory Committee. This committee will provide advice and recommendations on implementing the state petitions for Inventoried Roadless Area Management Rule adopted by USDA in May of 2005.

Ms. Cook responded to the announcement, “I am very pleased to be one of the 12 members of the Roadless Advisory Committee who will help the National Forest and states through an elective process of revising plans to manage National Forest roadless areas. Our National Forest roadless areas are among our nation’s most precious recreation resources and deserve to be actively managed for diverse recreation and forest health.”

Members of the committee will review petitions submitted by states, seek consensus, identify issues and provide the Secretary or the Secretary's designee with advice and recommendations on implementing the State Petitions Rule. The committee membership is geographically diverse, with members from ten states and the District of Columbia ."

These committee members have expressed a keen interest in the conservation and management of inventoried roadless areas on National Forest lands and represent a diverse set of perspectives and values," said Johanns. "

I look forward to having the results of their deliberations to ensure we continue to care for the land and serve people."

Cook said, “I am looking forward to working with the other members of the committee to find innovative land management solutions for these lands. I am excited about the possibilities that the Advisory Committee offers in this direction.”

Cook noted that the new roadless rule doesn’t require anything to happen. The State Petitions Rule established a process to provide Governors an opportunity to establish or adjust management requirements for National Forest System inventoried roadless areas within their states. USDA will accept state petitions until November 13, 2006.

Cook added, “For the first time, we have an opportunity to suggest changes to roadless management from the bottom up, from the grass-roots, from the people who live close to those lands. There will be a significant process that assures these changes are fair and beneficial before they are finalized and implemented. I am committed to a fair process.”

Cook retired from her full time position as Public Lands Director in 2002 after 14 years of service and became a part time Public Lands Consultant for the Coalition.Members of the committee include: Darin Bird, representing state-elected officials; Robert Cope, representing locally-elected officials; Adena Cook and Geraldine Link, representing developed recreation organizations; Jeff Eisenberg, James Riley and Gregory Schaefer, representing commercial interest organizations; Denny Scott representing organized labor organizations; and Paul Hansen, Dale Harris, Todd Schulke, Howard Vaughan and Chris Wood representing environmental organizations.

See Adena's explanation of "roads and roadless"

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The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of public and private lands, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742.  www.sharetrails.org

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