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Heritage Forests Campaign News Release

June 5, 2003

Statement of Robert Vandermark, Co-Director, Heritage Forests Campaign

On The Forest Service Ignoring The Public

"By ignoring public comments, the Bush administration is telling the average person 'don't bother telling us what you think or how you feel, because we are not listening.'

"Under this proposal you have to be a scientist or a lawyer to get through, while the average citizen expressing their opinion is shut out. Whether you weigh in on the best biodiversity options or you simply say you would like to keep our national forests protected, your comments are valid and must be heard.

"I think the public would be very surprised to find out they will not be listened to by the federal government.

"The Bush administration has already shown a disdain for public comments, as it ignores more than two million public comments in favor of protection of our last wild forests -- the Roadless Conservation Rule. And now we hear that not only do they ignore public comments, they want to regulate what sort of comments will be accepted.

"The U.S. Forest Service is charged with caring for the land and serving the people, but by blocking public comments on major forest initiatives, the Forest Service fails on both accounts."

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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 who are working together to uphold protection of our National Forests.

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