Some politicians are still attempting to use last summer's forest fires for political advantage. Two House committees have approved a harmful anti-forests bill sponsored by Rep. Scott McInnis (Colo.) and Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.) that will provide more help to powerful timber companies than to communities at risk from fires. The bill is expected to go before the full House soon.

Please take a moment to ask your representative to oppose the McInnis-Walden logging bill, misleadingly named the "Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003." Ask your representative to instead support the alternative sponsored by Rep. George Miller (Calif.).

Among other harmful impacts, the misnamed "Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003" would eliminate the core of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and allow the Forest Service to conduct large-scale, environmentally damaging logging projects without considering alternatives, including the "no-action" alternative. The bill would also limit the public's involvement in forest management decisions, and allow temporary roads to be built in pristine roadless areas of our national forests, even though these roads can be as harmful to the environment as permanent roads.

The House Resources Committee and the House Agricultural Committee have approved the bill, and the full House may vote on it soon.

Fortunately, Rep. George Miller (Calif.) will offer an alternative proposal during the debate on this bill that focuses scarce federal funding and resources on communities actually at risk from forest fires, without trampling our environmental laws.