NOTE: For copies of all stories, please contact Le Evans at 202-887-1342.
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.
Heritage Forests Campaign Week In Review
For More Information Contact: Le Evans, NET, 202-887-1342 or 202-487-7465 (cell)
Bush's First Year -- Broken Promises, Quiet Rollbacks -- Despite promises to uphold the roadless rule with minor changes, the Bush administration has yet to announce its proposed revisions - 272 days later - but the Forest Service continues to issue obscure directives that roll back roadless protections.
The Veneman Promise:
The Ashcroft Promise:
Forest Service Action:
"The directives remove some land from protection offered by the roadless forest policy, and weaken requirements for environmental review on 58 million acres of national forest land."
"The directives will be published in the Federal Register, a clearinghouse of government regulations, this week. The public will have 60 days to comment."
Bush's First Year - Taking Care of Business... Quietly
"These actions followed months of other pro-business regulatory actions that were hardly noticed in the post-Sept. 11 world: allowing more roads and powerline construction on public lands, weakening rules over mining permits, delaying a ban on snowmobiles in national parks... The peculiar thing is that while the [Bush] administration is clearly attuned to the political power of the environment, some of its actions continue to suggest a heedless disregard of that knowledge."
"Unless Mr. Bush himself alters course, the prospects for improvement are zero. That is because he has filled nearly all the critical posts where policy is hatched and regulations are written with people who regard the environment as a resource to be exploited and who have earned their keep representing logging, mining, oil, livestock, and other interests."
"The timber industry, on the other hand, is encouraged. During the presidential campaign, industry executives got the Republican Party's attention with a $1.5 million fund-raiser in Portland, Ore. About a dozen timber company executives and industry lobbyists met in December with some of Bush's key natural resources officials to discuss land management policies."
Montana -- Bitterroot Logging:
California -- Sierra Nevada:
"In a flip-flop that is either a sign of blatant cynicism by the Bush administration or one boneheaded career move, a U.S. Forest Service bureaucrat has launched a 'broad review' of a landmark plan for the forests of the Sierra Nevada - just days after his boss at the Department of Agriculture approved it."
Pennsylvania and New York -- Allegheny and Finger Lakes: "The struggle to determine whether America's national forests are natural treasures or commercial timber lots is hitting close to home these days. Controversy over oil and gas drilling swirls around a postage-stamp-sized forest in the Finger Lakes, and massive energy and logging plans have put Pennsylvania's nearby Allegheny National Forest at the top of a national '10 most endangered' forests list."
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