New Rule Proposed
For Logging in Forests
Governors would have to petition the federal government to block road building in remote areas of national forests under a Bush administration proposal to boost logging.
Environmentalists say the proposed rule change, outlined this week in the Federal Register, would signal the end of the "roadless rule." The rule blocks road construction in nearly one-third of national forests as a way to prevent logging and other commercial activity in backcountry woods.
Without a national policy against road construction, forest management would revert to individual forest plans that in many cases allow roads and other development on most of the 58 million acres now protected by the roadless rule, environmentalists say.
"Basically, I think this proposal takes away protections on a national level" against road building and logging, Robert Vandermark, co-director of the Heritage Forest Campaign, said yesterday. He said it is unlikely that governors in pro-logging states will seek to keep the roadless rule in effect.
Forest Service spokeswoman Heidi Valetkevitch stressed that the proposal is preliminary but called it an accurate statement of the administration's intentions.
Officials said last year that they would develop a plan to allow governors to seek exemptions from the roadless rule. The latest plan turns that on its head by making governors petition the Agriculture Department if they want to maintain restrictions on timbering in their state.
FBI Urges Vigilance
By Police for Holiday
The FBI urged police nationwide yesterday to step up patrols and watch for signs of terrorist activity over the Fourth of July weekend. Officials said there is no specific, credible intelligence indicating that an attack is likely.
"We know the U.S. homeland remains a top al Qaeda target," the FBI said in its weekly bulletin to 18,000 state and local law enforcement agencies.
A constant stream of intelligence indicates that al Qaeda is determined to stage another major attack this summer or fall, possibly timed to one of a series of symbolic events in the United States and overseas.
The FBI said police should increase patrols this weekend and make sure vehicles illegally parked in key areas are approached and their drivers questioned. The Department of Homeland Security has no plans to raise the nation's terrorism alert level above its current midpoint status of yellow, or elevated.
Danforth Is Sworn In
As Ambassador to U.N.
Former senator John C. Danforth (R-Mo.) was sworn in as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in a ceremony at the White House.
President Bush said Danforth, who served most recently as the president's envoy to Sudan, will press the United Nations to step up efforts to fight terrorism. Danforth, 67, succeeds John D. Negroponte, who arrived Monday in Baghdad as the U.S. ambassador to Iraq.
-- From News Services
and Staff Reports