Attorney General Lockyer Pledges Court Fight to Protect Sierra Nevada Forest from Bush Administration Assault

Friday, November 19, 2004
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today said he will go to federal court to block the Bush Administration's plan for managing 11.5 million acres of Sierra Nevada National Forest land. The U.S. Forest Service Thursday approved the Sierra Nevada National Forest Framework.

Along with environmental groups, Lockyer has strongly opposed the Framework, which revises a management plan originally drafted by the Clinton Administration. Lockyer contends the Bush Administration's amended Framework violates federal environmental protection laws, and will increase commercial logging, endanger wildlife habitats, reduce water quality and weaken grazing restrictions.

The revised plan will become final in two weeks, unless reviewed by the U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary for Natural Resources and the Environment, Mark Rey. Lockyer said he will file a lawsuit challenging the plan in federal court if Rey does not act.

"We will not let stand this betrayal of treasured forests and the public trust," said Lockyer. "With this action, the Bush Administration maintains its full-speed retreat from environmental protection. Its continued willingness to sacrifice California's natural resources has forced my office over the last four years to divert countless taxpayer dollars from fighting polluters to fighting the federal government. That is not right. But we will continue to do what is necessary to safeguard the environment that makes California a special place to live."

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