Administration Continues Attacks|On All 155 National Forests,|Environmental Groups Say

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – In another giveaway to the logging, oil and gas industries, Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer “once again” illegally deleted planning and management regulations for all 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands in the most recent National Forest Management Act regulations published in April, four environmental groups claim in Federal Court.

     “Plaintiffs challenge the rulemaking that concluded with that publication of the revised regulations and accompanying Record of Decision, as well as the Final Environmental Impact Statement prepared on that rulemaking,” the complaint states.
     Plaintiffs are the Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, and the Vermont Natural Resources Council. They claim the latest regulations are another giveaway to the logging, oil and gas industries, permitting them to devastate wildlife and habitat, and that the Secretary did not bother to follow his own regulations to do so.
     “Instead, the Forest Service under the current administration has sought to repeal nearly all of the detailed standards in the [original] 1982 Rule through a radical revision of the NFMA Regulations that itself does not comport with the requirements of NFMA.”
     Plaintiffs claim the Bush administration continues to shred federal environmental laws despite repeated court orders.

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