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Protecting America's National Forests, a report by the Heritage Forests Campaign

Heritage Forests Campaign News Release

March 5, 2003




Forest Service Budget
On Wednesday, March 5, Mark Rey, Undersecretary of Agriculture, and Forest Service Chief Bosworth will testify before the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee at 10:00 AM on the Forest Service’s FY’04 budget. At the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s forest budget hearing, Rey testified that the Bush Administration plans to release an amended Roadless Rule in the next couple of months, despite overwhelming public support for the rule as adopted in January 2001.

Lawmakers Want Roadless Rule Implemented
As timber sales move forward in unroaded areas of the Tongass National Forest, Sens. Lieberman (D-CT) and Cantwell (D-WA) sent a letter yesterday to the U.S. Department of Agriculture asking specific questions regarding the Administration’s intentions for administering the Roadless Area Conservation Rule following the rule’s recent court victory. In the letter, Sen. Lieberman said, “The Administration’s track record on this rule is not comforting.”

Timber-sale in Wyoming Roadless Area Postponed
The U.S. Forest Service Appeals officer sent the Dick Creek timber sale – a sale that includes logging on 268 acres of designated roadless areas -- back to Forest Service headquarters to be reexamined because of its damaging affect on wildlife. The legality of this sale was also in question following the recent court victory upholding protections for roadless areas.


Bush Administration Secretly Meets With Industry
Environmental groups sued yesterday citing "secret meetings" the Bush Administration had with timber industry allies in a veiled attempt to undermine the Northwest Forest Plan – a plan for managing forests in Oregon, Washington and Northern California. Groups were forced into court after the Administration refused to release documents on the meetings. For more information visit Earthjustice's newsroom.

More Forest Planning Comments Allowed
The public comment period for the Bush Administration's revised National Forest Management Act Regulations (NFMA) has been extended for 30 days until April 7. These revised forest planning regulations weaken environmental review and public participation for 155 million acres of national forest lands around the country, as well as eliminating specific protections for roadless areas. For more information please visit HFC's pressroom or Defenders of Wildlife.

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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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