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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of December 4 - 10, 2002


Bush’s fruitcake recipe

Just in time for the holidays, the Bush administration released its fruitcake recipe. It’s a recipe for disaster in the West.

Sweeping changes in regulations governing operations in 155 national forests could literally gut them.

The changes would:

Exempt the U.S. Forest Service from producing environmental impact statements when changes are proposed to master plans that govern logging, use of motorized vehicles, recreational activities and ski area expansions.

Drop the requirement that forest planners consult with a panel of scientists when drafting management plans.

Allow forest supervisors to approve projects that run counter to forest plans already in place.

Eliminate requirements that projects don’t harm wildlife populations or biodiversity.

Require the Forest Service to ignore public comment by postcard, from e-mails or other mass mailings.

Require that any public comment focus on laws, regulations or policies.

The recipe, while tasty to the industries that created it, would lay waste to Western forests and their wild inhabitants.

The administration claims its fruitcake will save $300 million and protect rural communities from forest fires. As part of the Bush Administration’s new spoils system whose motto is "Pay, play, or perish," the cake won’t be pretty.

Forest supervisors will face pressure from powerful political contributors to approve pet projects—any owls be damned—or face professional banishment.

Forest supervisors will face pressure to embrace crackpot theories like one gaining popularity in Colorado where some claim that city reservoirs will get more water if more land is stripped of trees. In other words, trees should be cut because they steal water that people want.

The Federal Register will carry the new regulations this week, opening a 90-day comment period.

On the off chance they might be counted, comments may be sent to USFS Chief Dale Bosworth at P.O. Box 96090, Washington, D.C. 20090-6090, or e-mailed to planning_rule@fs.fed.us.

Bush’s fruitcake ought to be sent back to the kitchen. It’s utterly inedible.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.