Bush's Chainsaw Massacre.

Author:Scheer, Roddy
Position:THIS WEEK - George W. Bush - Brief article
 
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Most previous presidents have used their "lame duck" year in office to polish their legacies by increasing environmental protection. By contrast, George W. Bush seems intent to win friends among loggers by "getting out the cut." In the latest assault on our wildest places, the White House has unveiled a contentious new management plan for the country's largest national forest, Alaska's Tongass.

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The new plan does add some 90,000 acres of forest to old-growth reserves and protects an additional 47,000 acres that loggers consider most valuable for timber extraction. But environmentalists see it as a handout to the timber industry. "It leaves 2.4 million acres of wild, roadless backcountry areas open to clear cutting and new logging roads," says Tom Waldo of the nonprofit Earthjustice. Environmentalists would like to see all the unlogged acreage left alone, but are particularly alarmed at the audacity of the administration's plan, given that its own Forest Service reported that only about 663,000 acres in the areas at issue are considered very valuable for timber...

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