California says it will sue feds over Sierra Nevada forest plan

If the Bush administration’s plan to increase logging in the Sierra Nevada national forest is approved, California will sue to block it, said state Attorney General Bill Lockyer (D). Last Thursday, the head of the U.S. Forest Service approved the plan; U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey now has 15 days to review it before it becomes final. Though the plan is billed as a way to reduce wildfires, it is widely viewed by enviros as a giveaway to the timber industry. In a scathing statement, Lockyer blasted the Bush administration for its “betrayal of treasured forests and the public trust,” noting that its “continued willingness to sacrifice California’s natural resources” has forced the state “to divert countless taxpayer dollars from fighting polluters to fighting the federal government.” Lockyer claimed the plan would violate federal environmental protection laws, though Forest Service head honcho Dale Bosworth disagrees.