News Release

Johanns Announces Roadless Area Conservation Advisory Committee To Help Implement The State Petitions Rule

September 16, 2005 -

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced the selection of members 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.

"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."

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.

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.

The Federal Advisory Committee Act establishes a framework for the public to provide recommendations, advice, ideas, and diverse opinions to the Federal Government. The Act also stipulates the members of an advisory committee should represent different opinions and viewpoints.

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.