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Heritage Forests Campaign Week In Review

May 31, 2001

For More Information: Le Evans, NET, 202-887-1342 or 202-487-7465 (cell)

9th CIRCUIT: Enviros File Brief, but Bush Fails to Join Appeal

Even though the Bush administration pledged to "uphold the roadless rule," they failed to submit a brief (as of 7:00 pm EDT, May 31, 2001) in defense of the rule, signaling a possible decision not to vigorously defend the forest conservation policy. Environmental groups, however, defended the forest conservation policy in briefs filed today in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Bush administration's failure to join the appeal (as of 7:00 pm EDT, May 31, 2001) is only the latest example of its failure to defend the forest conservation policy. "The Bush administration's defense of the policy in court was so underwhelming that a federal judge earlier this month cited the government's own arguments in ruling against it." (Nancy Benac, Associated Press, May 30, 2001)

Last week, the Federal Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit granted an expedited appeal of the case in response to an earlier decision by Judge Edward Lodge in Boise, Idaho, to grant a preliminary injunction to prevent implementation of the roadless rule. (John Heilprin, Associated Press, May 23, 2001)

1.6 MILLION & COUNTING: Another Comment Process to Begin in June

Despite an historic 1.6 million comments, more than three years of study, and 600 public meetings, the Bush administration decided to propose "amendments in early June" that could severely weaken the national forest conservation policy in the name of "local control." (

ON THE HILL: Lieberman Interested in Hearings

Senator Joe Lieberman (D- Conn.), expected to become Chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, "will follow up on a letter he sent a month ago to Andrew H. Card Jr., Mr. Bush's chief of staff, expressing concern about plans to alter certain regulations, including those governing roads in national forests, he would possibly hold hearings on the issues." (Lizette Alvarez, The New York Times, May 25, 2001)

NOTE: For copies of all stories, please contact Le Evans at 202-887-1342.

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