Forest Rules

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President Bush wants to change forest rules and the result could be more logging and other uses of the national forests -- without much study of the potential damage to the environment.

The Bush administration is proposing that the managers of the 165 national forests get greater decision-making power over logging and other commercial or recreational activities that take place there.

The U.S. Forest Service said it's hoping to improve the forest management regulations that were issued at the end of the Clinton administration. Forest Service officials said the Clinton plan was "neither straightforward nor easy to implement."

Environmentalists don't want regional foresters to have more leeway to determine how the forests are used. They said the foresters often develop close ties with timber interests.

The new proposal would get rid of specific standards for maintaining wildlife populations. Instead, there would be broad goals.