Heritage Forests Campaign Week In Review
For More Information: Le Evans, NET, 202-887-1342 or 202-487-7465 (cell)
Postcard From Crawford: Call Him Tree Man? In a moment of irony given his administration's opposition to forest protections, Bush "wielded a chainsaw" and admired the trees by saying, "They're really big and magnificent trees." Bush continued by proclaiming himself, "Tree man. I have come to appreciate them a lot."
Forest Service: Bosworth Directive Now Open For Comment -- The Forest Service will accept comments until late October on the recent directive from Chief Dale Bosworth that would grant him more authority over road-building decisions.
The directive, however, does not prevent road-building or timber sales from moving forward where forest plans have already been completed; like the Tongass National Forest, where a Federal Judge ordered the Forest Service to rework an extremely controversial forest plan earlier this year.
Roadless Comments: Citizens Speak Out as Deadline Looms -- The current comment period regarding the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the future of the roadless rule will close on September 10. The roadless rule has already received a record-breaking 1.6 million comments, and environmentalists expect to significantly add to that figure.
In Washington, DC, a number of Senators, Members of Congress, and conservationists will call on the Bush administration to honor the public comments and support the protection of our last wild national forest lands during a press conference at the Capitol on Thursday, September 6.
In cities around the country, local environmental and civic groups will hold rallies next week to encourage the public to express their support for forest protections and submit their comments to the Forest Service before the deadline.
Nominees: NYT Criticizes Bush Anti-Green Hiring -- "These appointments should dispel any doubts about Mr. Bush's intention to weaken the strong environmental protections from the Clinton administration. Unlike his father, who reached into academia and even the environmental community for some of his appointments, Mr. Bush seems determined to go back to the Reagan era, when ideologues like James Watt ran the Interior Department and most of the important regulatory jobs were filled with representatives of the businesses being regulated."
"Industry's tentacles are everywhere. The nominee for the Agriculture Department's top natural resources post, with authority over the Forest Service, is Mark Rey, an influential Senate staffer who spent nearly 20 years as a lobbyist for the timber industry."
On the Hill: Stevens Gives Public Land to Personal Friend -- "Senator Ted Stevens, Republican of Alaska, wants to give 1,505 acres of prime Alaska wilderness ? owned by the federal government and worth millions of dollars ? to a small restoration group headed by a longtime friend. Mr. Stevens tucked the one-sentence measure to do just that into the fine print of the $60 billion transportation appropriations bill, which the Senate passed earlier this month."
"Still, the move has outraged environmental and outdoor sporting groups, who call it a giveaway of public land that exposes it to an uncertain future. The new owner's intention to preserve the land could yield to economic pressures as more tourists visit the area, critics say, since the measure contained no restrictions on how the property could be used."
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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