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Heritage Forests Campaign News Release

June 28, 2001


WASHINGTON - "Today's apparent decision by the Bush administration not to fulfill Secretary Veneman's commitment to explain how the Bush administration intends to implement an overwhelmingly popular forest conservation policy is yet another disappointment.

"This decision is just another thinly-veiled attempt to dress-up a rollback of an historic forest policy to avoid political damage.

"Instead of clearly stating its intentions, the Bush administration continues to slowly and surreptitiously roll back the popular roadless rule to avoid political embarrassment. It is time for the Bush administration to play it straight with the American people.

"The Bush administration pledged to uphold the roadless rule, but has continued to play a shell game with national forest protections. First, they promised to defend the rule in court, but barely showed up. Next, they pledged to "uphold roadless values" and implement the roadless rule, but with changes. Then, they hired a top timber lobbyist, and well-known roadless opponent, to oversee implementation of the rule. And now, the Bush administration is attempting to undermine implementation of the roadless rule simply through delay.

"The American people have already submitted more than 1.6 million comments, and will continue to comment in support of this common-sense protection for the last 30 percent of our wild national forests."

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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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