Bush Administration Supports Business Over Environment

RECEIVED Mon., Jan. 12, 2004

Dear Editor:
   It appears as if an ironic sense of holiday spirit is alive and well in the Bush administration. With a Christmas Eve announcement, it gave the timber industry a gift of enormous proportions by revoking protections on our nation's largest national forest. The gift: the best and biggest wild areas in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska – a national treasure and the world's largest remaining coastal temperate rainforest.
   Shamefully this "gift" was given despite the public's overwhelming support for conserving wild areas in the Alaskan rainforest. And the price tag – billed to American taxpayers – is steep. We lose millions of dollars every year – $35 million in 2002 – because the Forest Service spends far more money preparing logging projects and building logging roads than the timber industry pays in return for the trees.
   Rather than catering to the timber industry, the Bush administration should have fulfilled the wishes of the American public and maintained the protections of the Tongass. It would have been a priceless gift for our children – and theirs.
   As far as I'm concerned, this is just another dreadful example of what the Bush administration is doing to our "wild" lands that were set aside by far-thinking persons for the future generations of the USA. If this disregard for our future citizens continues, there will no longer be any wildlands for any of us!
Ms. Janet E. Brown
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