Hellbender Journal Autumn 2002
|Bush Logging Bill Threatens
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:
- Severely undermine the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
by allowing for fire logging projects to be offered or analyzed
with the consideration of alternatives;
- 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;
- 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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