Billy Frank Jr. in the PI: Hands off the roadless areas

Billy Frank Jr, chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, wrote a piece about the importance of roadless areas in the Seattle PI:

There seems to be an excess of optimism around these days. People feel like we’ve turned a page, that things we considered not possible are now possible.

One of the previously hopeless fights I hope ends soon is the long legal battle over the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which has the potential to protect more than two million acres of pristine forests in Washington.

The Obama administration has a chance to give a hand to the folks who have been fighting in the trenches trying to defend the roadless rule for eight long years. I hope they do because it’s the right thing to do.

But, we now have the opportunity, President Barack Obama now has the opportunity, to make good on promises made eight short years ago to finally protect these last remnants of the great forests that the tribes once handed over to the United States.

When the tribes signed treaties with the federal government, we knew the world was changing, but we didn’t expect our forests to be cut down and rivers destroyed. Now, we say strongly roadless areas should be untouchable and they should stay the way the tribes have always known them.