Southern California Settlement Agreement

John Gastaldo

Here’s a story on the settlement to the four California forest plan litigation.
It sounds interesting:

Under the agreement, federal and state agencies, conservationists and off-roaders will work together to improve roadless areas. The Forest Service will reconsider protecting several of the areas permanently as wilderness.
In addition, parties will identify roads and trails that are degrading designated roadless areas, and the Forest Service will prioritize them for decommissioning and restoration. The agency also will protect all roadless areas from harmful activities, including those that could prevent them from being recommended as wilderness.
The compromise includes $250,000 to cover attorney’s fees and other costs incurred by environmentalists, who praised the deal as a step toward protecting natural resources on federal property.
“As the Southern California population pushes past 15 million, wild lands are even more critical to the region because they provide drinking water, clean air and outdoor recreation,” said Annette Kondo, spokeswoman for The Wilderness Society’s California office.
The Blue Ribbon Coalition and the California Association of 4-Wheel Drive Clubs were among the user groups who signed the deal. They could not be reached immediately on Thursday.

What strikes me about the agreement is how much it’s about roadless. I have to wonder if this agreement might have been reached without litigation.
Here’s the settlement agreement.

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