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Houston Regional Group - News - 2003
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Conservation News:
 forestry
 clean air

Feature Article

Red-cockaded Woodpecker Lawsuit Ends
On July 25, 2003, after more than 15 years in court, the Sierra Club, Texas Committee on Natural Resource (TCONR), and The Wilderness Society (TWS) lawsuit to protect the federally endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) came to end.  Federal district court Judge Richard A. Schell dissolved the 1988 and 1999 injunctions that were part of the RCW lawsuit when the U.S. Forest Service (FS) presented a management plan that they said will prevent the RCW from going extinct and will recovery the bird’s populations. (Sep 03)

Conservation News:

Forestry

National Park Wilderness Expansions, Including Guadalupe Mountains, Put in Deep Freeze
In a move reminiscent of President Ronald Reagan’s anti-environmental Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, Gail Norton, Watt’s protégé and current Secretary of the Interior, has administratively frozen processing of almost 250,000 acres of National Park System wilderness proposals. In addition to Big Cypress National Preserve, Channel Islands National Park, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, 38,000 acres of potential wilderness in Guadalupe Mountains National Park (GMNP) is stuck in bureaucratic limbo.  (Dec 03)

U.S. House, Senate, and President Bush Approve Unhealthy Forest Bill: Tree Massacre Expected
The U.S. Congress approved the so-called Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (the Unhealthy Forest Initiative – UFI or HR 1904) and President George Bush signed this bill into law on December 3, 2003. This law is the greatest attack on the National Forest System since it was created in the early 1900’s. In addition, this law weakens protections found in many landmark environmental protection laws like the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and reduces public participation.  (Dec 03)

Red-cockaded Woodpecker Lawsuit Ends
On July 25, 2003, after more than 15 years in court, the Sierra Club, Texas Committee on Natural Resource (TCONR), and The Wilderness Society (TWS) lawsuit to protect the federally endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) came to end.  Federal district court Judge Richard A. Schell dissolved the 1988 and 1999 injunctions that were part of the RCW lawsuit when the U.S. Forest Service (FS) presented a management plan that they said will prevent the RCW from going extinct and will recovery the bird’s populations. (Sep 03)

Unhealthy Forest Bill Set for Passage in the U.S. Senate: Your Help Needed Now!!!
On July 24, 2003, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed the so-called Healthy Forests and Restoration Act of 2003 (HR 1904). The bill is part of the Bush Administration’s so far successful attempt to capitalize on the fear that has been stirred up in the West over forest fires.  (Sep 03)

Sierra Club and Others Sue the U.S. Forest Service Over Timber Sales in Texas and Three Other States
In May 2003, the Sierra Club, along with eight other groups, sued the U.S. Forest Service (FS) over 27 timber sales in four states in the South. The states are Texas, Virginia, Mississippi, and Arkansas.  (Sep 03)

Red Alert!!! Comments Needed About Unhealthy Forest Initiative (UFI) in Sam Houston National Forest
The Problem: President Bush has created the Healthy Forests Initiative (a more appropriate name is the UFI) to reduce fire risk to people and insect risk to trees in National Forests. The UFI is an excuse to allow timber industry logging on and over burning on your National Forests. One of the UFI pilot projects is the Boswell Creek Watershed (BCW) in SHNF.  (Jul 03)

House Passes Fire Bill; Bush Approves Weakened Forest Regulations; Timber Beasts Salivate
On May 20, 2003, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1904, the so-called, “Healthy Forests and Restoration Act of 2003. If this bill passes the U.S. Senate the National Forests will be open to massive logging by timber companies under the guise of fire control. At nearly the same time the Bush Administration approved new forest regulations that weaken protection for National Forests and make logging easier. (Jul 03)

Forestry Notes
Updates on several Forestry items (May 03)

Forestry Notes
Updates on several Forestry items (Apr 03)

Forestry Notes
Updates on several Forestry items (Mar 03)

Stop the Bush Assault on National Forests Via Forest Plan Rules
The Forest Planning Rules are supposed to implement the National Forest Management Act's mandate to protect a diversity of forest resources from destructive timber practices like clear-cutting.  Instead, the Bush Administration has proposed rules that will cut protection for National Forests, reduce public input, and increase logging. (Mar 03)

Forestry Notes
Updates on several Forestry items (Feb 03)
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Clean Air

Diesel Exhaust Creates Health Problems
The information in this article was taken from the May 2002 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “Health Assessment Document for Diesel Engine Exhaust.” The health assessment (HA) characterizes diesel exhaust (DE), the health effects that are currently known, and was peer reviewed by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee. The EPA used the HA as part of the scientific basis for regulating heavy-duty highway engines to reduce DE air pollution.  (Oct 03)

Houston Sierra Club Starts Up New Air Quality Committee
On July 24th, 2003, the Houston Sierra Club Executive Committee approved the creation of an Air Quality Committee (AQC) that will function under the Conservation Committee. The chair and spokesperson of the new AQC is Brandt Mannchen.  (Sep 03)
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