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)
Despite promises to uphold the roadless rule with minor changes, the Bush administration has yet to announce its proposed revisions - 279 days later - but the Forest Service continues to issue obscure directives that roll back roadless protections.
"The U.S. Forest Service would offer about 2 billion board feet of timber for sale from the national forest system in fiscal 2003 under the budget proposed by President George W. Bush on Monday."
"The White House's budget proposal for the Forest Service would include $278 million to support a timber sales offering of 2 million board feet."
"In the current fiscal year, the Forest Service expected to sell about 1.4 billion board feet."
The Bush administration's budget contains an obscure section that advocates removing sections of national forest land from the national forest system to form new "charter forests" that would be managed by private entities.
"Some Democrats and conservationists worry that the proposal is an attempt to circumvent environmental protections. They already are upset that the administration is revising former President Bill Clinton's forest policies, including the "roadless rule" protecting more than 58 million acres from most logging and road construction."
"U.S. District Judge Don Molloy on Friday ordered the chief of the Forest Service and an undersecretary in the U.S. Department of Agriculture to book passage to Missoula so they can resolve their differences with environmentalists over salvage logging in the Bitterroot National Forest."
"At stake is the Bitterroot National Forest's burned area recovery plan, intended to cover 44,000 acres of the 307,000 acres burned by the fires of 2000.Environmental groups oppose the plan both because they object to the quantity of logging proposed and because the Forest Service refused to hear citizen appeals after the decision was announced."
"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.'"
"If defending America against terrorists has been the Bush administration's shining moment - and it has - defending wilderness areas against exploitation has not. While one could argue that the administration has stood tall on some environmental issues, such as clean water and air, only a GOP marketing specialist could claim with a straight face that the administration has been equally diligent when it comes to forests."
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