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The Planet

Can't See the Forest For the Stumps

Two days before Christmas, the Bush administration announced damaging new regulatory changes to the rules that guide forest management. The new regulations undermine wildlife and clean water protections, allow agency discretion to carry out harmful projects and revise management plans at will, and sharply limit citizen participation in forest planning.

"Americans want to protect the places where they hike, hunt, and fish, but when the Bush administration rewrote the rules, they wrote the public out of the equation," says Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope.

The new rules reject sound science and create a presumption that all national forest lands are open to industrial or timber uses unless explicitly prohibited. "It's a lot of broad platitudes and lame forestry-school doublespeak to conceal the fact that they're increasing commercial logging and eliminating crucial wildlife protections," says Sean Cosgrove, Sierra Club national forest policy specialist.

The new rules conform closely to a timber industry "wish list" presented shortly after President Bush took office in 2001.

Take Action
Send written comments by March 7 to Forest Service Content Analysis Team, P.O. Box 22777, Salt Lake City, Utah 84122; e-mail planningce@fs.fed.us or fax (801) 517-1015. After March 7, write to your members of Congress or to the letters-to-the-editor section of your local newspaper. For more information, and to see a sample letter, see sierraclub.org/forests.

To Take Action
Write: The White House, 1600 Pennsylania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515
Call: The White House, (202)456-1111
Capitol Switchboard, (202)224-3121
Learn: For updates on the Club's legistlative priorities, call the Legislative Hotline at (202)675-2394.
Surf: Visit our Web site at sierraclub.org


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