National Forest Rules Challenged

Laramie, Wy – Conservationists are taking the Bush administration to court over new rules for managing the national forests.
The rules -- issued in December -- give managers of the 155 national forests more discretion to approve logging and other commercial projects without lengthy environmental reviews.
San Francisco-based Earthjustice alleges in the suit that the rules water down protection of wildlife and the environment "to the point where they are virtually meaningless."
The litigation was filed on behalf of a coalition of conservation groups.
It contends the rules reverse more than 20 years of protection for wildlife and other resources without any scientific basis for doing so.
Forest Service officials declined comment.