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. 

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Press Room

Heritage Forests Campaign Week In Review
January 31, 2002

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:
"We're here today to announce the department's decision to uphold the Roadless Area Conservation Rule. Through this action, we are reaffirming the Department of Agriculture's commitment to the important challenge of protecting roadless values."
Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman, News Conference, May 04, 2001

The Ashcroft Promise:
"There were less dramatic betrayals as well. At his confirmation hearings, for example, Attorney General John Ashcroft pledged to defend as the 'law of the land' a landmark Clinton-era rule barring logging and other forms of commercial development in 58.5 million acres of roadless national forest. Mr. Ashcroft's lawyers have since done almost nothing to defend the rule against court challenges from industry, a failure that has encouraged the timber lobbyists who now run the Forest Service to proceed with their parallel campaign to destroy the roadless policy by administrative means."
Editorial, The New York Times, January 28, 2002

Forest Service Action:
"The U.S. Forest Service issued directives yesterday that appear to make it easier for the timber and mining industries to build new roads in national forests."
Eric Brazil, The San Francisco Chronicle, December 21, 2001

"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."
Benjamin Shors, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), December 21, 2001

"The directives will be published in the Federal Register, a clearinghouse of government regulations, this week. The public will have 60 days to comment."
Katherine Pfleger, Associated Press, December 18, 2001

Bush's First Year - Taking Care of Business... Quietly
"While the nation has been focused on the war against terrorism, the Bush administration has continued its effort to redirect the environmental policies of the Clinton years."
Robert Schlesinger, The Boston Globe, January 5, 2002

"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."
Katharine Q. Seelye, The New York Times, January 13, 2002

"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."
Editorial, The New York Times, January 28, 2002

"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."
Katherine Pfleger, Associated Press, December 29, 2001

In The States: Forest Service Under Attack on Other Issues

Montana -- Bitterroot Logging:
"A federal judge in Montana has blocked a Bush administration decision, issued last month, that would have allowed logging on more than 40,000 acres of the Bitterroot National Forest... In his opinion, Donald W. Molloy, chief judge of the Federal District Court in Missoula, halted the project and took the [Bush] administration and Forest Service to task for issuing their decision administratively and avoiding the customary 45-day public appeals process. The move, Judge Molloy said, looked like 'an extralegal effort to circumvent the law.'"
Katharine Q. Seelye, The New York Times, January 9, 2002

California -- Sierra Nevada:
"In late December, the Bush administration approved a scientifically sound, extensively reviewed, wide-ranging plan to manage more than 11 million acres of the Sierra Nevada. The most significant - and contentious - effect of the plan would be to reduce logging in national forests."
Editorial, The San Francisco Chronicle, January 20, 2002

"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."
Editorial, The Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2002

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."
Editorial, The Buffalo News, December 30, 2001


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