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Take to the Trees & Streets: Stop Bush Ecocide and Warmongering

President George Bush is an eco-terrorist and war criminal. We
are witnessing the most environmentally and socially damaging
American Presidency ever - precisely when global ecological and
security crises require reasoned, thoughtful global vision and
leadership.
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FOREST CONSERVATION NEWS TODAY
Take to the Trees & Streets: Stop Bush Ecocide and Warmongering
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Forest Networking a Project of Forests.org, Inc.

forests.org/ -- Forest Conservation Portal
www.EnvironmentalSustainability.info/ -- Eco-Portal
www.ClimateArk.org/ -- Climate Change Portal
www.WaterConserve.info/ -- Water Conservation Portal

July 18, 2003
OVERVIEW & COMMENTARY by Forests.org

President George Bush is an eco-terrorist and war criminal. We
are witnessing the most environmentally and socially damaging
American Presidency ever - precisely when global ecological and
security crises require reasoned, thoughtful global vision and
leadership. Americans in particular need to decide whether they
will remain silent - as much of Germany did as Hitler sought to
rule and decimate the World. Americans and the rich World in
general must decide if they can give up a bit of their wealth -
and risk protesting America's unjust and unsustainable policies -
so others may simply live.

In response to the Bush administration's forest management
policies that are opening America's forests to the timber
industry, some of the forest conservation movement's most ardent
activists are preparing for civil disobedience - literally taking
to trees to protect our ecological heritage. Protection of
America's roadless forests - an important symbolic precedent for
the World, by highlighting the need for spatially extensive
ecosystems for regional sustainability - continues to be undone
on the President's command. Again and again environmentalists
have pleaded with the Bush administration to protect roadless
forests, support CO2 reductions, and to generally come down on
the side of environmental sustainability.

President Bush's response? This week the Bush administration
shut down the President's email account. Those who want to send
a message to the president must now navigate as many as nine Web
pages and fill out a form that asks if they support White House
policy. Earlier the Forest Service was commanded to disregard
email communications on rule changes.

When an imperial and unelected national leader commits
environmental, war and other crimes - shutting out the voice of
those that dissent - there is no alternative but to protest, and
protest hard. I would suggest that regressive forest and other
environmental policy, obstinately obstructing the Kyoto climate
consensus, and preemptively invading another country under false
pretenses - among other injustices - is grounds for impeachment.

Until this occurs, or regime change comes about during the next
election, those that love the Earth and its peoples must be
heard. Forests.org calls upon all right-thinking people to
support and participate in non-violent civil disobedience in
protest of unjust, unwise, unsustainable and perhaps illegal
activities by the Bush oil oligarchy.

President Bush threatens the Planet and all its peoples by
utterly failing to diagnose the World's problems and enunciate
progressive solutions. It is critical at this juncture in
history that we take to the streets and demand America be given
back to the people, and that just and equitable means of
combating terrorism and human want take precedent over war-
making. America needs leadership that promotes equitable, just
and ecologically sustainable development as the basis for global
security and peace. Organize, protest and be heard.
g.b.


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RELAYED TEXT STARTS HERE:

ITEM #1
Title: Learning a New Platform for Protest
In Mont., Activists Train to Live in Trees in Effort to Halt
Bush Logging Plans
Source: Copyright 2003, Washington Post
Date: July 18, 2003
Byline: Mark Matthews, Special to The Washington Post

HUGHES CREEK CAMPGROUND, Mont. -- David Muller hunkered down and
watched as an instructor tied a timber hitch around three 20-foot
logs. Soon Muller would be practicing knot tying himself, and
compass reading and tree climbing. The 56-year-old bookseller
from Alaska was in training, not as an outdoorsman but as a
political activist.

Muller and 70 others were here amid the ponderosa pines of
western Montana under the tutelage of veterans from Greenpeace
and the National Forest Protection Alliance.

In response to the Bush administration's forest management
policy, allowing the timber industry new access to the nation's
forests, some of the environmental movement's most ardent
activists are preparing for civil disobedience. "This is an
excellent opportunity to learn nonviolent direct action to save
wilderness and roadless areas," said Muller, 56, who hopes to
prevent cutting in southeastern Alaska's Tongass National Forest.

Muller said he is ready to put his body between the bulldozers
and the trees. At the camp, he has learned to climb a 100-foot-
tall tree and set up a platform where he can live for an
indefinite period of time. He has learned to build a tall tripod,
also with a platform for him to live on, which can be used as a
blockade against logging trucks.

President Bush's plan, which has been supported by many
politicians of both parties in the West, is meant to thin
underbrush -- the flashpoint for many forest fires -- near
populated areas and give logging companies access to new timber.

Even as Western states begin the forest fire season, no consensus
on Bush's proposal has emerged. Some environmental groups have
grudgingly supported the plan, but others -- including those here
-- vow to oppose it.

The activists said no demonstrations were planned during the
training session, but, they said, they were getting ready.
"No one is opposed to bona fide restoration projects," said
Matthew Koehler of the Native Forest Network, "but President Bush
and Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey are
proposing some egregious projects. If public participation
doesn't work, then there is no other recourse. People will take
to nonviolent civil disobedience."

Molly Karp, 21, is already a battle-scarred veteran of such
campaigns. Now a criminal justice student at Idaho's Lewis-Clark
State College, she climbed onto a tree platform in 1998 in the
state's Nez Perce National Forest to stop a road from being
built. "I knew exactly what I was doing," she said. A native of
New York City, Karp trained with EarthFirst. When Forest Service
engineers figured out a way to reroute the road around her tree,
Karp descended to climb another. In all, she set up perches in
three trees.

As Karp hopped from tree to tree, the Forest Service set up 24-
hour security and thwarted her support team's efforts to
replenish her food and water. After a month in the trees, Karp
descended. In the years since, she has spent about six months in
jail for different acts of civil disobedience.

"One of the most empowering things you can do is to know that you
can effect change when you sit in a tree or blockade a road," she
said.

The glamour activity in camp is tree climbing. Meredith
Jefferson, a recent graduate of the University of California at
Berkeley, practiced coiling the end of a rope to form a weighted
bullet that she then tossed over the branch of a tree. After
anchoring one end of the rope to the base of the tree, she fixed
the other end to her climbing harness. "If strategically used,
nonviolent direct action works," Jefferson said.

The gear is a little high-tech for getting into a tree, said
Greenpeace instructor Al Baker, a native of Scotland, but the
standard Greenpeace equipment can be used for other types of
campaigns. "These folks can go straight from climbing a tree to
climbing a nuclear reactor in Denmark," he said.

The activists here also learn tactics for support groups --
reading compasses, using hand-held radios -- and orienteering, a
difficult skill even when one is not trying to stealthily evade
forest rangers and loggers.

"I find myself getting turned around easily in the woods," said
Stephanie Tidwell, 31, who recently graduated from the University
of Colorado.

In conversations around the camp, many here speak with a fervor
and invoke the names of their role models, civil rights leaders
such as Martin Luther King Jr. and 19th-century writer Henry
David Thoreau. They know that some critics refer to them as "eco-
terrorists" but say they do not want violence. "We're peaceful
people," said Tamara Avery, a member of the Confederated Tribes
of Siletz Indians of Oregon. "We're peaceful people, here to
protect the Earth."

Said Muller, "I'm quite proud to be doing all this."


ITEM #2
Title: House Upholds Bush Roadless Policy
Source: Associated Press
Date: July 18, 2003
Byline: ALAN FRAM, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House voted Thursday against halting the
use of snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks,
upholding by the narrowest of margins a Bush administration plan
to instead limit the number and emissions of the vehicles.

In another win for President Bush, the chamber voted to uphold
administration plans to allow development on some of the 58
million acres of federal forests where road building has banned
since the closing days of the Clinton administration.

The roll calls were among several triumphs for business and the
White House as the Republican-led House debated a bill providing
$19.6 billion for the Interior Department and other federal land
and cultural programs next year. The overall measure was approved
by 268-152.

The 210-210 defeat of the snowmobile ban - with a majority
required for a provision to prevail - was a victory for winter
sports interests near two of the National Park Service's crown
jewels. Even so, environmentalists said they were buoyed by the
close margin in the Republican-run House, despite its rejection
of their argument that the tracked vehicles spew too much
pollution and noise, threatening wildlife.

``The Park Service actually issues respirators to its rangers -
it is that bad - and they use them,'' said Rep. Rush Holt, D-
N.J., a sponsor of the provision that was defeated.

Snowmobile use in the two parks would have been phased out by
next winter under a Clinton administration plan.

But Bush's Interior Department has proposed new rules allowing
only several hundred of the vehicles to enter the parks daily,
setting standards for noise and pollution and limiting them to
park trails.

Supporters of Bush's plan said opponents were going too far in
trying to ban the vehicles.

``If you didn't want human interaction in Yellowstone Park,
you're about 100 years too late,'' said Rep. Dennis Rehberg, R-
Mont.

Last month, the Bush administration proposed letting governors
request exemptions to the so-called roadless policy. In addition,
in a settlement of a lawsuit brought by Alaska, the
administration said it will allow logging and other development
in several hundred thousand acres of that state's huge Tongass
and Chugach national forests.

Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., and other environment-minded lawmakers
said the administration proposal would let loggers and other
industries mar some of the nation's most pristine areas.
Supporters of the Bush plan said the limited road building would
allow better prevention and response to wildfires and said
opponents' claims that the new policy would cause massive damage
to forests were exaggerated.

They prevailed 234-185.

By 222-198, the chamber rejected an effort by Rep. Tom Udall, D-
N.M., to stop the administration from updating the two-decade-old
rules used to decide how national forests can be used.

The administration says the National Forest Management Act must
be streamlined because it can take years to redraw forest plans.
Opponents said the proposal would give undue input to loggers and
other industries.

The House also rejected efforts to ban bear baiting - luring
bears with food so they can be shot - on public lands, and to
forbid federal funds from being used to kill bison that leave
Yellowstone. Local ranchers are concerned the buffalo might
transmit disease to their cattle.

The chamber also voted 228-197 against limiting some farmers'
crops in the Northwest's dry Klamath Basin, now in its third year
of a water war among local growers, fishermen, environmentalists
and Indians.

Advocates of federal financing for the arts won a fight when the
chamber voted 225-200 to provide $127 million next year for the
National Endowment for the Arts, $10 million more than Bush
requested and the bill initially contained. The agency, which a
decade ago survived attempts by conservatives to eliminate it, is
getting $116 million this year.

Republicans decided not to try killing a provision limiting the
Bush administration's ability to replace many Interior Department
workers with employees of private companies. Democrats said
Republicans lacked the votes to erase the language, which has
drawn a White House veto threat, while Republicans said they
would reconsider the issue.

In other spending action:

-The Senate by 95-0 approved a $369 billion defense bill after
fighting off Democratic efforts to force investigations into the
Bush administration's use of intelligence about Saddam Hussein's
alleged efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction.

-The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $17 billion
agriculture bill after voting to ease restrictions on U.S. farm
and drug sales to Cuba.

-The Senate panel approved an $18.1 billion foreign aid bill
that, like the House version, would leave federal funds for
combating HIV/AIDS overseas next year at $2 billion. That is the
amount Bush is now seeking, though he has also voiced support for
$3 billion.


ITEM #3
Title: U.S. judge issues injunction against Clinton forest rule
Source: Copyright 2003, Reuters
Date: July 16, 2003
Byline: Christopher Doering, Reuters

WASHINGTON - Green groups vowed to appeal a Wyoming federal
court's decision Tuesday blocking a Clinton-era plan to protect
millions of acres of U.S. forest land, saying it violated
environmental rules.

In a 100-page ruling issued late Monday night, U.S. District
Judge Clarence Brimmer said the U.S. Forest Service made "a
thinly veiled attempt to designate 'wilderness areas' in
violation of the clear and unambiguous process established by the
Wilderness Act for such designation." The land in question
comprises 58.5 million acres.

The injunction was victory for the state of Wyoming, which filed
the suit, and it marked another setback for the so-called
roadless rule since it was implemented by President Clinton days
before leaving office. A May 2001 decision by a Idaho federal
judge halted the Clinton plan, but the decision was overturned in
December by the 9th Circuit Court.

The latest decision on the controversial rule halts it
nationwide, including within the 9th Circuit, according to Jim
Angell, an attorney with Earthjustice.

"We are going to appeal immediately," said Angell. "The Idaho
district judge enjoined the rule on some of these same grounds,
and the appellate court lifted that injunction. We are confident
that the 10th circuit will do the same."

The Clinton plan aims to prevent road construction and the
removal of oil and lumber in 58.5 million acres (23.67 million
hectares) of federal forest land, unless needed for environmental
reasons or to reduce the risk of wildfires.

A spokesman for the Forest Service was not available for comment.
Republican lawmakers said the inclusive roadless rule was not an
effective way to manage public lands because it would block
recreational uses and thinning measures needed to prevent forest
fires on a case-by-case basis.

But Wyoming Republican Craig Thomas said those practices could be
achieved "with a minimum amount of roads," adding, "Of you have
no roads, then you suddenly eliminate access for a lot of
people."

In his decision, Brimmer said the roadless rule violated a host
of environmental rules, including the National Environmental
Policy Act because it was driven by "political haste" and failed
to allow the public sufficient time to comment.

"In the Forest Service's desire to create a 'legacy' for itself
and the Clinton administration through the Roadless Rule, the
Forest Service lost sight of its mission," said Brimmer.

Under the Wilderness Act, only Congress had the power to
designate wilderness area, the judge said.

Environmental groups contend the rule was widely supported by the
public, attracting more than 2 million letters, faxes, and e-
mails before its adoption - the most ever for a federal
environmental measure.

In June, the Bush administration said it would allow state
governors to seek exemptions from the roadless rule to reduce the
risk of wildfire or to protect human health.


ITEM #4
Title: White House E-Mail System Becomes Less User-Friendly
Source: Copyright 2003, New York Times
Date: July 18, 2003
Byline: JOHN MARKOFF

Do you want to send an e-mail message to the White House?
Good luck.

In the past, to tell President Bush - or at least those assigned
to read his mail - what was on your mind it was necessary only
to sit down at a personal computer connected to the Internet and
dash off a note to president (at) whitehouse.gov.

But this week, Tom Matzzie, an online organizer with the A.F.L.-
C.I.O., discovered that communicating with the White House had
become a bit more daunting. When Mr. Matzzie sent an e-mail
protest against a Bush administration policy, the message was
bounced back with an automated reply, saying he had to send it
again in a new way.

Under a system deployed on the White House Web site for the first
time last week, those who want to send a message to President
Bush must now navigate as many as nine Web pages and fill out a
detailed form that starts by asking whether the message sender
supports White House policy or differs with it.

The White House says the new e-mail system, at www.whitehouse
.gov/webmail, is an effort to be more responsive to the public
and offer the administration "real time" access to citizen
comments.

Completing a message to the president also requires choosing a
subject from the provided list, then entering a full name,
organization, address and e-mail address. Once the message is
sent, the writer must wait for an automated response to the e-
mail address listed, asking whether the addressee intended to
send the message.

The message is delivered to the White House only after the person
using that e-mail address confirms it.

Jimmy Orr, a White House spokesman, described the system as an
"enhancement" intended to improve communications. He called it a
"work in progress," and advised members of the public who had
sensitive or personal matters to bring up with President Bush to
use traditional methods of communications, like a letter on
paper, a fax or a phone call.

He said the White House, which gets about 15,000 electronic
messages each day, had designed the new system during the last
nine months in partnership with a private firm that he would not
identify.

"It provides an additional means for individuals to inquire about
policy issues at the White House and get a personalized response
in 24 to 48 hours," said Mr. Orr, the Internet news director at
the White House.

It is still possible to send a traditional e-mail message, he
said, but the sender will receive the automated reply and there
is no guarantee it will be read or responded to.

Some experts in Internet usability think the new method for
sending messages is not doing much to enhance communications
between the White House and the public.

"Over all, it's a very cumbersome process," said Jakob Nielsen,
an authority on Web design who helps run a consulting group,
Nielsen Norman Group, in Fremont, Calif. "It's probably designed
deliberately to cut down on their e-mail."

The White House said it was taking its Web usability critics in
stride.

"When it comes to a Web site, it's a bit like a movie," Mr. Orr
said. "Some will say it's a tour de force; some will say it fell
flat."

He said the new procedure provided a straightforward way for a
citizen to let an opinion be known and at the same time receive a
quick, tailored response from the White House.

Acknowledging that there had been glitches in the first few days,
Mr. Orr said the new system was being improved. "Having tried it
myself," he said, "I would say it's pretty user-friendly."

But Dr. Nielsen said he found a variety of shortcomings in the
White House system, including what he called a deeply buried
privacy policy and a lack of indicators marking one's progress in
traversing each of the multiple Web page steps. He complained as
well about a poorly designed approach to confirming that a
message had actually been sent.

The various categories for describing a message's subject are
also a big muddle, Dr. Nielsen said.

"One of the categories is `National ID Card,' " he said. "Does it
mean you're in favor of national ID or in favor of the
president's position, which it doesn't describe?"

Mr. Matzzie, the A.F.L.-C.I.O. organizer, discovered the new
White House e-mail system when he started a campaign to protest
the administration's proposals to change the way overtime pay is
to be calculated.

He said he particularly disliked being forced to specify whether
he was offering a "supporting comment" or a "differing opinion"
to President Bush.

"Can't I just say something or ask a question?" he said.

Mr. Matzzie said he was also upset that none of the many
categories listed included either "unemployment" or "jobs."

"This is the most ridiculous Web form for contacting someone I
have ever seen," said Mr. Matzzie, who is a professional Web site
designer.

Having sent his e-mail message on Tuesday, Mr. Matzzie said he
was still waiting for a response.

###RELAYED TEXT ENDS###

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior
interest in receiving forest conservation informational materials
for educational, personal and non-commercial use only.
Recipients should seek permission from the source to reprint this
PHOTOCOPY. All efforts are made to provide accurate, timely
pieces, though ultimate responsibility for verifying all
information rests with the reader. For additional forest
conservation news & information please see the Forest
Conservation Portal at URL= forests.org/

Networked by Forests.org, Inc., gbarry (at) forests.org
 
 


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