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E-M:/ Local Officials, Citizen Groups Expose Bush Administration Plans to Exploit America's National Forests



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Enviro-Mich message from "Anne M. Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>
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While this report doesn't deal with Michigan's National Forests, as a
state with a large amount of National Forests, we need to be aware of
and concerned about the Bush Administration's assault on this national
asset. AW


For Immediate Release: August 10, 2004
Contact: Annie Strickler, (202) 675-2384

                  Local Officials, Citizen Groups Expose
              Bush Administration Plans to Exploit America's
                             National Forests

 New Report Documents Bush Administration's Destructive Logging and
Energy
                                Development

Washington, D.C. - The Sierra Club joined conservationists across the
country today in releasing a report that documents the on-the-ground
impacts of the Bush administration's destructive forest policies. The
report, "This Land is Your Land," was written by the American Lands
Alliance and released by a coalition of conservation groups. Highlighted
in
the report are the administration's efforts to increase commercial
logging
in wild, roadless forests such as the Tongass National Forest in Alaska,
ancient old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest and forests across
the
country.

The report is available at
http://www.americanlands.org/this_land_is_your_land.htm 

The report focuses on 18 timber sales and one gas development project
that
are moving forward in 13 states. Among the list of projects are several
that would cause irreparable harm to old-growth forests. The report
highlights places like the Zane Grey roadless area in southern Oregon
and
the Kaibab National Forest near the Grand Canyon in Arizona where
destructive timber sales are planned under the guise of "fuel reduction"
and "fire prevention."

"The Bush administration's forest policies have been skewed in favor of
the
timber industry at the expense of all Americans. There is a better way,"
said Sean Cosgrove, forest policy specialist with the Sierra Club.  "The
Bush administration should focus on community protection and honest fuel
reduction efforts, redirect logging subsidies to create restoration and
fire protection jobs and halt new energy development in environmentally
sensitive areas."

The report comes on the heels of the Bush administration's proposal that
revokes the popular Roadless Area Conservation Rule. The
administration's
new, convoluted process will leave America's last wild forests open to
destructive commercial logging and road building. This controversial
decision forces Governors to petition the Department of Agriculture to
protect their wild, roadless National Forests. The comment period on the
administration's proposal ends September 14, 2004.

"By revoking the landmark Roadless Rule, the Bush administration is
leaving
wild forests across the country vulnerable to commercial timber sales
and
road building," said Cosgrove.

The administration is already moving ahead with its plans for 50 timber
sales in roadless areas on Alaska's Tongass National Forest, America's
largest forest and the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world.
This is happening despite the fact that their efforts fly in the face of
public sentiment and a recent vote in Congress to eliminate wasteful
subsidies for new road building on the Tongass.

Cosgrove joined the American Lands Alliance, county commissioners from
Oregon and New Mexico, a leader of the Nez Perce Tribe, and a recreation
group at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., today to release
the
report.

"This administration doesn't seem to consider what Tribes or local
citizens
want for management of the forests in their community," said Anthony D.
Johnson, Chairman of the Nez Perce Tribe. "For years, the Tribe has been
working to repair watersheds impacted by years of logging and road
building.  The Tribe believes, as do many others, that healthy forests
require healthy streams and good water quality.  The administration's
plans
for logging and road building in the South Fork of the Clearwater River
is
contrary to the Tribe's efforts to restore a healthy forests and restore
salmon habitat."

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