We’re talking about 4.4 million acres of federal land within California’s borders. It’s called roadless - It’s wild mostly – used for recreation – and contains sources of drinking water and wildlife. Under a 2001 federal law, it was largely protected, but some of those protections have been rolled back in recent years. California now joins several other states in petitioning for protection of its wild-lands. The Governor’s move is being applauded by environmental groups like the Sierra Club. Carl Zichella is regional staff director:
“It’s an important thing for the country because other governors are likely to follow his lead - California being the state that it is – the opinion leader that it is on environmental policy - and the fact that he’s a republican governor – all those things combine to make this a very influential act.”
The petition would restrict road-building with a few exceptions such as those needed to fight fires or address public safety issues.