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)
286 days have passed since Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman promised to uphold the roadless rule with minor changes, but there is still no sign that Bush administration will keep its word and announce its proposed revisions. Meanwhile, the Forest Service continues to issue obscure directives that roll back significant forest protections.
"Sen. Ron Wyden, who heads a Senate Energy subcommittee on forests, demanded more information about the pilot program in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman."
"Environmentalists are suspicious, and they have good reason to be. The proposal comes from an administration that has shown virtually no sensitivity to environmental concerns and has been disconcertingly eager to roll back some of the forest protections enacted under the Clinton administration."
"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."
Alaska - Tongass Logging Injunction
"Last year [federal district court judge] Singleton ruled that the Forest Service violated federal law in 1997 as it updated the Tongass Land Management Plan by failing to consider some roadless areas eligible for wilderness designation by Congress. The judge then issued a temporary injunction that halted logging on the Tongass for nearly two months."
Alaska - Chugach Forest Plan Delayed by Wilderness Opponents
"Like most forest plans, the one for the Chugach has been controversial. The revision has taken four years and cost about $4 million. During that time, the agency collected about 33,000 written comments plus spoken testimony gathered at more than 200 meetings."
"The latest draft of the forest plan has called for setting aside nearly a third of the forest as wilderness, including part of the Copper River Delta. Most of the rest of the delta was given a status similar to wilderness. The delay of the plan concerns environmentalists and some tourism industry representatives. They fear the audit will be used by the Bush administration to undo work done under the Clinton administration."
"The American taxpayer, in effect, is underwriting fire protection for homes built in fire-prone areas that should have been off limits to development."
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