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Heritage Forests Campaign News Release

June 26, 2002

Statement of Jane Danowitz, Director of the Heritage Forests Campaign, On The Western Wildfires

WASHINGTON -- The catastrophic wildfires raging in the West are a terrible tragedy for the communities and families in the path of destruction. During this important time, we must focus all our energy and resources on protecting as many homes and communities as possible.

"Unfortunately, right now some politicians are taking advantage of this tragedy to score cheap political points. Blaming environmentalists for these terrible fires and other demogoguery is simply irresponsible and should have not place in this discussion. Our focus must be on protecting citizens and communities in the fire's path. It's a time for real leadership, not rhetoric.

"The Forest Service must focus its resources on keeping citizens and communities safe instead of subsidizing commercial logging that increases fire risk. Just last year, the Agriculture Departmentís Inspector General found that Forest Service managers had diverted millions in restoration funding, which helps reduce fire risk, to start new timber sales in national parks across the country.'

Learn More: Read our fact sheet on fire and the Roadless Area Conservation Rule.

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Contact: Tony Iallonardo, NET
(202) 887-8855

The Heritage Forests Campaign is an alliance of conservationists, wildlife advocates, clergy, educators, scientists, and other Americans working together to uphold protection of our National Forests. Heritage Forests Campaign's partners include Alaska Rainforest Coalition, American Hiking Society, Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund, National Environmental Trust, National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, US PIRG, and The Wilderness Society.

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