Bush admin backs off appeal of nixed forest-management rules, to release new ones
The Bush administration has backed off of an appeal of a March 2007 ruling that overturned controversial management rules for national forests. The struck-down rules allowed national forest managers to approve logging, mining, cell-phone towers, and other commercial projects without undergoing environmental reviews and were found to violate the Endangered Species Act. The Bush administration had been in the process of appealing the ruling but then decided it was quicker and cheaper to comply with it and conduct an environmental impact study of the 2005 rules. While the decision not to pursue the appeal is a small victory for environmentalists, as always, the victory is widely expected to be short-lived. New management rules that are strikingly similar to the ones that were slapped down have been in the works since shortly after the 2007 ruling and could be issued in a few weeks.