Mr. Mike Does Right

The Charlotte Observer yesterday wrote a story that raised my estimation of Mike Easley a few notches. He's taking on the Feds to preserve public land for the common good. It's a smart, competent move that we should support all the way.

Easley seeks shield for roadless areas

Gov. Mike Easley petitioned federal officials Thursday to protect nearly 174,000 acres of roadless areas in the state's national forests.

North Carolina became only the second state to seek assurance that new logging roads won't be built on some of its wildest land. Virginia filed a similar petition last week.

The request, if granted, would prevent construction of roads that encroach on wildlife, dump eroded soils into clear streams and open scenic mountains to logging. No logging is planned on the roadless areas that cover 15 percent of the 1.2 million acres of national forests in North Carolina, the U.S. Forest Service says.

In 2001, the Clinton administration protected 58 million acres of national forest from new roads. President Bush's appointees changed the rule last year, requiring that states ask for added protection.

For those who argue that Dems are interchangeable with Republicans, take note. A Republican governor would be trying to unload public land so her cronies distributors could sell more crappy Amway products to the condo-owners who'd move in.

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PS For more on Sue's Amway bidness, this article in Mother Jones is eye-opening. It's an oldie, but a goodie.