Keep things balanced

Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2003

Sen. Stevens attached a deeply buried Tongass rider to the federal spending bill which transcends environmental concerns. The rider states that the Forest Service's upcoming wilderness decision "shall not be reviewed under any Forest Service administrative appeal process, and its adequacy shall not be subject to judicial review by any court of the United States." This precedent dangerously curtails the opportunity for appropriate public appeal and use of the judicial branch of government!

What happens to our freedoms, held so dear especially since 9/11, when the right of public review and appeal is denied? Our entire governmental system is designed to balance power between the administration, Congress and courts. It is our protection to have administrative and judicial avenues for review and appeal.

If our lawmakers create legislation that removes the balance of power in forest management, where will it be removed next?

Cindy Damm


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