Administration wrong on logging rules

The Bush administration is trying again to stifle the public's say in decisions about logging and mining in the national forests.

A new rule says the government doesn't have to fully consider how forest management plans affect the environment.

The rule eliminates environmental impact statements from the management plans required every 15 years. The Forest Service says those plans have no impact on the environment because they just represent planning, not action.

That's hogwash.

Now decisions will be made about timber harvesting, off-road vehicles, drilling and mining without the formal process of environmental impact statements and public comments.

The government can more easily ignore air and water concerns, endangered species and damage to wildlife habitat. It will be easier for timber and drilling companies to do what they want.

The above editorial excerpt is from The Kansas City (Mo.) Star.