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http://www.ems.org/rls/2003/12/03/president_bush_g.html

For Immediate Release: December 3, 2003
For More Information: Tiernan Sittenfeld, U.S. PIRG, 202-546-9707 or 202-422-6796

President Bush Gives Early Holiday Gift To The Timber Industry:
Logging Bill that Fails to Ensure Protection for Communities at Risk from Fire

Statement of Tiernan Sittenfeld, U.S. PIRG Conservation Advocate

H.R. 1904, the legislative version of the Bush administration’s so-called Healthy Forests Initiative, which President Bush is expected to sign into law today fails to ensure protection for at-risk communities, weakens environmental protections, and undermines public participation in decisions that affect America’s public lands.

This bill is an early holiday gift from the Bush administration to the timber industry.

As the recent fires in Southern California demonstrate, it is critical that we focus scarce federal resources in the areas where they will protect communities at risk from fire. Unfortunately, the bill that President Bush signed into law today fails to do so.

The bill puts roadless areas at risk and provides little or no protection for America’s last remaining old growth trees. In fact, it would make it easier for the timber industry to cut down large, fire resistant trees that are miles from communities at risk.

We urge the Forest Service not to take advantage of the many wrongheaded provisions in this bill and to instead focus scarce federal resources on protecting at-risk communities. It’s time to start protecting communities instead of the timber industry.

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U.S. PIRG is the national advocacy office for the state PIRGs. State PIRGS are non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organizations.
 
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