Rahall Reacts to Forest Service’s Final 2008 Planning Rule

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall (D-WV) released the following statement today in response to the U.S. Forest Service’s Record of Decision on the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the 2008 National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule:

“Forest Management Plans are the fundamental building blocks of forest management. Ronald Reagan had it right in 1982 when he required these plans to undergo full Environmental Impact Statements under NEPA.

“The Bush Administration’s 2005 attempt to effectively exempt forest management plans from NEPA was thrown out by the Court. Unfortunately, this new rule, no matter how the Forest Service tries to dress it up, is still an attempt to cut corners while working in secret to devise these plans.

“Forest Management Plans are simply too important to let the Forest Service cut any corners in drafting them.”

Chairman Rahall has sent three letters to the Forest Service since 2005 expressing his strong concerns about the Administration’s development of an updated National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule. Rahall, along with 54 Members of Congress, expressed serious concerns about the proposal during the original comment period on the 2005 Planning Rule, and was most recently joined by 67 Members of Congress in an October 2007 letter.