Think Globally, Log Locally
The Bush administration said last night that it will let stand President Clinton’s rule to ban road-building and logging on 58.5 millions acres of national forestland. Sort of. It seems the White House intends to give local officials (the folks who don’t like the rule) the power to modify the ban on a case-by-case basis to allow logging, mining, and drilling to occur. The administration said the planned changes would address concerns raised by a federal judge in lawsuits brought by the state of Idaho and the timber giant Boise Cascade to block the ban. But environmentalists said the changes were meant to erode the rule while giving President Bush cover — under the pretense that the lawsuits gave him no choice but to revise the policy.