Allegheny Defense Project ...working for the protection of the natural heritage of the Alleghenies...

Hellbender Journal Autumn 2002

Bush Logging Bill Threatens National Forests

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have been pushing a logging bill supported by the Bush administration that would allow the U.S. Forest Service to evade important environmental laws. House Resolution 5319 was introduced by Scott McInnis of Colorado and nearly passed this fall before it was stopped by grassroots organizing efforts. The mcInnis bill uses the forest fire issue as cover to:

  1. Severely undermine the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by allowing for fire logging projects to be offered or analyzed with the consideration of alternatives;
  2. Encourage logging by permitting a "goods for services" contracting and even extends this authority to the Bureau of Land Management for the very first time;
  3. Substantially weaken public involvement by requiring unreasonable time limits on citizen appeaks and judicial review under the Endangered Species Act or Clean Water Act.

Although grassroots efforts have temporarily stopped this harmful logging bill, we expect this to be brought up early and often during the next Congress starting in early 2003. Some House Democrats have tried to work out compromise legislation which would limit the effect of the Bill but most of these compromises would still result in the evasion of important environmental laws.

The forests need your help. Contact your legislator and tell them to oppose any efforts to suspend or rollback environmental laws that cover logging in America's national forests. Tell your legislator to oppose any compromise legislation that would still allow for the evasion of existing environmental laws or judicial review of timber sales.

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