Apology demanded from Chief Mike Dombeck

Discussion in 'Land Use' started by mudfanatic, Jun 15, 2000.

  1. mudfanatic

    mudfanatic 1/2 ton status

    Feb 18, 2000
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    Aloha, Oregon
    Apology demanded from Chief Mike Dombeck
    Category: FYI
    Date: 6/6/00
    Time: 10:58:37 AM
    Remote Name:
    Senator calls for apology from forest chief By Audrey Hudson THE WASHINGTON
    A top administration official is under fire for dismissing the concerns of
    handicapped people who oppose President Clinton's environmental legacy plan
    to ban road-building in national forests. Sen. Larry E. Craig, Idaho
    Republican, said yesterday forest chief Mike Dombeck owes an apology to the
    group, Disabled Americans for Federal Forest Enjoyment. A Forest Service
    spokesman called the group's charge that a proposal to ban new roads would
    restrict their access to forests a "blatant red herring" and that access
    would not be impaired. "I think that was a phenomenal gesture of
    insensitivity," said Mr. Craig, chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources
    subcommittee on forests and public land management. "This was done in a
    crass way, and they have to apologize for being not so politically correct,"
    Mr. Craig said. A Forest Service spokesman would not comment on the apology
    request, but said the spokesman's comments were not directed at the group.
    "This is an important issue for a lot of people and there are a lot of
    different perspectives we will listen to and incorporate into our final
    [plan]," said spokesman Rex Holloway. This is the second time in three weeks
    Mr. Dombeck has been called on to apologize for statements concerning the
    president's forest proposal. Lawmakers and loggers charged the proposal had
    "carelessly dabbled in pop psychology" by characterizing forest industry
    workers as uneducated, unstable and unmotivated. Rep. Bart Stupak, Michigan
    Democrat, wrote Mr. Dombeck on May 11 demanding the language be removed and
    an apology made for the "condescending and ignorant statements." Mr. Dombeck
    responded in a May 15 letter that he had a great deal of respect and
    admiration for those in the logging community. "If there is anything in the
    roadless [plan] that implies otherwise, I apologize and will ensure it is
    corrected in the final roadless area environmental impact statement," Mr.
    Dombeck said. Bruce C. Grefrath, president of the disabled group, said in a
    May 16 letter to Mr. Dombeck he was offended by the "name calling." "I urge
    you to instruct your agency spokesperson to speak with more sensitivity and
    forthrightness," Mr. Grefrath said. "Disabled Americans are not red
    herrings," he said. Mr. Grefrath also said his group was disappointed the
    agency had not explained how disabled people would be affected by the plan.
    "This effort to close our national forests to disabled Americans has not
    gone unnoticed, nor will it go unchallenged," Mr. Grefrath said. Mr.
    Holloway noted the agency has received 365,000 letters in response to the
    proposal, and said the disabled group's letter would be included for review.
    The proposal, which environmentalists have hailed as Mr. Clinton's most
    important environmental legacy, would ban road construction in 43 million
    acres of roadless federal forests. The initiative would allow local Forest
    Service officials to decide whether logging, mining and off-road-vehicle use
    would be allowed. Lawyers representing the disabled have warned the plan
    could violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, and lawmakers critical of
    the proposal predict that if it is enacted, the agency would face a flood of
    lawsuits. The Pacific Legal Foundation also has written Mr. Dombeck on
    behalf of disabled Americans concerned about access. "The potential that a
    federal agency might be contemplating policies that will cause a substantial
    reduction in the existing and future potential access into our national
    forests is not good policy," foundation lawyer James S. Burling said in a
    March 28 letter.


    <font color=red>get involved with land issues or lose the land</font color=red>

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